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Vol. 3, No. 8                                                                                                          April 22, 2020

Cancer Institute Member Spotlight

Carolina Schinke, M.D.
Assistant Professor
Division of Hematology and Oncology
Department of Internal Medicine
UAMS College of Medicine
Myeloma Center
Dr. Schinke’s particular research interest is to identify cellular and molecular mechanisms that lead to progression to multiple myeloma (MM), thereby focusing on genetic and phenotypic changes within malignant plasma cells and on alterations of the MM surrounding bone marrow microenvironment. Read more>
Cancer Institute Research Programs
Cancer Biology
Leader: Steven Post, Ph.D.

This is the third of a four-part series highlighting the Cancer Institute research programs and opportunities for inter- and intraprogrammatic collaborations. The Cancer Institute research programs provide a collaborative environment for the conceptualization and conduct of basic, translational and clinical cancer-focused research. Co-leader positions are available for some of the programs.
 
The Cancer Biology program at the UAMS Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute brings together investigators studying the basic biology of cancer at the molecular, cellular and in vivo levels. Program investigators use biochemical, genetic and other methodologies to study and understand the mechanisms of malignant transformation, tumor progression and tumor metastasis.

Steven Post, Ph.D., professor in the UAMS College of Medicine Department of Pathology, serves as program leader.

“Cancer biology is very broad based as it applies to basic science discovery. However, our program focuses on understanding the basic science as it relates to tumor cell development and how a cell’s environment either supports or inhibits tumor growth,” Post said.

These types of basic science discoveries are the building blocks that scientists in other areas need to conduct their own research.

“If a basic scientist identifies a process that inhibits tumor cell growth, researchers in therapeutics, for example, could design molecules that target that process, making it more difficult for tumors to grow or spread. This could lead to clinical trials of new therapies, bringing clinical relevance to our initial laboratory discovery,” Post said.

Program members are focused in three main areas:
  • Viral oncology, which includes both how viruses initiate tumor formation and how viruses can be used to target tumor cells
  • Tumor immune response, which looks at how T cells change their behavior in a tumor and how those changes can be reverted back to the normal immune response
  • Vaccine targets, which examines new targets for vaccines and how to make them more effective
Since Cancer Biology was named one of the Cancer Institute’s four research programs in late January 2020, Post and his fellow members continue to solidify the program’s short- and long-term focus. A major goal includes encouraging program members to publish research and submit grants together, as well as collaborate with members of other research programs in the Cancer Institute.

“We need to have interactions across program lines where we establish co-authorships and collaborations between programs,” Post said.

After spending his early career researching cardiovascular health, Post moved into the cancer arena after discovering that the protein he studied also played a fundamental role in the microenvironment of tumors. Similarly, he said, researchers focused on other disease sites may also find unexpected connections to cancer research.

“There is a lot of overlap in biomedical research that allows people to transition their focus from other areas to cancer and bring new ideas to the table,” Post said.
Peer Review Portal
Peer review takes time and is an integral component of academic service at UAMS. The Division of Research and Innovation seeks to highlight UAMS faculty members who are serving or recently served on federal and/or non-federal study sections and other peer review panels for a variety of institutions.
 
A Peer Review Portal has been created for faculty to enter review activity details for the past two to three years including whether you chaired a study section.

Following your initial peer review submission, simply update your service as needed. The information will help paint a more complete picture of research duties across campus and allow others to connect about pertinent study sections. Contact Linda Williams in the Division of Research and Innovation for the latest peer review information.
Cancer-related Research Funding Opportunities

Extramural Opportunities

Academic-Industrial Partnerships (AIP) to Translate and Validate In Vivo Imaging Systems (R01 Clinical Trial Optional)

Department of Defense Breast Cancer Research Program Breakthrough Award Level 3

Department of Defense Breast Cancer Research Program Breakthrough Award Level 4

DoD Lung Cancer, Concept Award

Research to Reduce Morbidity and Improve Care for Pediatric, and Adolescent and Young Adult (AYA) Cancer Survivors (R01 Clinical Trial Optional)

Research to Reduce Morbidity and Improve Care for Pediatric, and Adolescent and Young Adult (AYA) Cancer Survivors (R21 Clinical Trial Optional)

DOD Prostate Cancer, Early Investigator Research Award

Utilizing Cohort Studies to Address Health Outcomes in Cancer Survivors (UG3/UH3 Clinical Trial Not Allowed)


CTSA Supplemental Funding Opportunities

NHLBI SBIR Phase IIB Small Market Awards to Accelerate the Commercialization of Technologies for Heart, Lung, Blood, and Sleep Disorders and Diseases (R44 Clinical Trial Optional)
 
Limited Competition: Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) Program: Exploratory Collaborative Innovation Awards (R21 Clinical Trial Optional)

Limited Competition: Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) Program: Collaborative Innovation Award, (U01 Clinical Trial Optional)
 
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