May 12, 2016 - Researchers Prakash, Singh awarded grants
Two cancer researchers have been awarded grants from the National Institutes of Health, according to MCI's Centers for Basic and Translational Research.
Aishwarya Prakash, Ph.D., is studying “Repair of Environmentally and Endogenously Induced Mitochondrial-DNA Damage.” Now in the third year of a five year, $249,000-per-year grant, Prakash will study the removal of mitochondrial DNA damage via the Base Excision Repair Pathway. A combination of internal factors and environmental agents such as ultraviolet light, ionizing radiation, air pollution, chemotherapeutic drugs and chemicals found in cigarette smoke generate Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) during the processes of normal cellular metabolism. ROS causes damage to cellular DNA, which, if not properly repaired, can trigger genome instability and the progression of neurodegenerative disorders, aging and cancer.
Racial disparity in breast cancer is the study target for Seema Singh, Ph.D., who has been awarded a five-year, $346,565-a-year grant to study “Molecular causes and mechanistic underpinning of breast cancer racial disparity.” The grant will be used to study the role of the tumor microenvironment in breast cancer racial disparity. Earlier studies demonstrate that African American women are more likely to develop aggressive breast cancer and experience greater mortality rates when compared with Caucasian women. Singh’s studies will provide novel insight into the molecular causes and mechanistic underpinnings of racial disparity in breast cancer, and provide a new set of biomarkers and potential drug targets to reduce the gap.