BUSM’s Anurag Singh, PhD, Receives Top American Lung Association Grant

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July 1st, 2013

Anurag Singh

Anurag Singh

Anurag Singh, PhD, assistant professor in the Department of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics at Boston University School of Medicine, has received an American Lung Association (ALA) Lung Cancer Discovery Grant to expand his research on targeted therapies for drug resistant cancers.

The Lung Cancer Discovery Grant, an award of $100,000 per year for up to two years, is the largest grant amount the ALA provides and is only given to two recipients annually. The highly competitive award is given to investigators focused on developing innovative medical treatments, advancing current treatment options or finding a cure for lung cancer through clinical, laboratory, epidemiological or any other kind of research.

Singh’s lab studies global mechanisms that contribute to oncogene-driven cancer progression, focusing mainly on lung, pancreatic and colorectal cancers. The lab is particularly focused on the KRAS oncogene, which is mutated in one-third of lung cancers. He will utilize the grant money for research on strategies to clinically manage drug-resistant KRAS-mutant lung cancers, which are often found in patients with a history of cigarette smoking. KRAS-mutant lung cancers are very resistant to chemotherapeutic agents, resulting in a poor prognosis for those with these mutations, and a method of blocking KRAS protein function has not yet been discovered. Singh hypothesizes that interfering with the function of small non-coding microRNAs that are controlled by mutant KRAS may make therapeutic agents more effective in treating lung cancers.

Singh, who also is a faculty researcher in the BU/Boston Medical Center Cancer Center and the Division of Hematology and Medical Oncology, received his PhD in pharmacology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He completed a postdoctoral fellowship and was an instructor at Massachusetts General Hospital with Harvard Medical School. Originally from Dartford, England, Singh currently resides in Malden, Mass.