CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - Angelique Whitehurst, PhD, assistant professor of pharmacology and a member of UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, has been awarded one of 13 Innovative Research Grants from Stand Up to Cancer, the scientific partner of the American Association of Cancer Research.
The grants were announced during an event at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) 102nd Annual Meeting 2011.
SU2C's Innovative Research Grants Program, which made its first round of 13 grants in December 2009, was designed specifically to support work that incorporates new ideas and new approaches to solve critical problems in cancer research.
These innovative projects are characterized as "high-risk" because they challenge existing paradigms, and because in order to receive a grant, the applicants were not required -- as they would be by most conventional funding mechanisms -- to have already conducted a portion of the research resulting in an established base of evidence. If successful, the projects have the potential for “high-reward” in terms of saving lives.
Whitehurst will use the grant to study how genes, otherwise required only for human reproduction, contribute to tumor cell survival. She will evaluate these genes to determine which are most critical for tumor survival and how they support growth of tumor cells. Ultimately her work will present new therapeutic targets that will selectively destroy tumor cells and leave normal tissue unharmed.
Whitehurst earned her bachelor's degree in biochemistry and chemistry from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and he doctorate in cell and molecular biology from the UT Southwestern Medical Center where she also completed her postdoctoral fellowship in cell biology before joining the UNC faculty in 2009.