$10.5 million bolsters breast cancer research at BUSM

in Recent News
October 31st, 2012

Photo of Singh by Kalman Zabarsky. Photo of Feng by Vernon Doucette

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo of Singh by Kalman Zabarsky. Photo of Feng by Vernon Doucette

Anurag Singh, Ph.D., and Hui Feng, M.D., Ph.D., Assistant Professors in the Department of Pharmacology & Experimental Therapeutics, work in the Dahod Breast Cancer Research Center at Boston University School of Medicine. The research center is the recipient of a $9.5 million endowment  to “understand the causes of breast cancer and develop prevention strategies and new treatments.”

According to the article:

“Some of those new treatments may evolve from the work of Hui Feng and Anurag Singh, recruited last fall as the first researchers at the Dahod Breast Cancer Research Center.

Feng, a MED assistant professor of pharmacology and experimental therapy, works primarily with a protein called Myc, which internally regulates cell development and when unregulated, instructs cells to multiply uncontrollably. This hyperactive protein is the genesis of many cancers, including some breast cancers, and is the target Feng and a team of biochemical engineers would like to strike with alternative, and minimally toxic, treatments.

Singh, a MED assistant professor of pharmacology and experimental therapy, studies a protein called KRAS, which also drives the development of many cancers—such as pancreatic, colon, and lung cancers as well as a rare but aggressive type of breast cancer prevalent among African American women—when it fails to switch off. Quashing KRAS would seem the best cure, but the protein has been resistant to conventional chemotherapies, and novel drugs directly targeting it have so far been ineffective, according to Singh.

Longtime BU breast cancer researcher David Sherr says he’s pleased to work with “hard-core molecular biologists” like Feng and Singh. Sherr believes their presence will attract more first-rate investigators to the University. ‘The idea,’ he says, ‘would be, if you build it, they will come.’”

To view the full Bostonia article, please click here.