Der receives grant funding for pancreatic cancer research

Channing Der, PhD, Sarah Graham Kenan Professor of Pharmacology, received a two-year $200,000 American Association for Cancer Research Innovative grant from the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network. His grant will fund research on the mechanism of ERK inhibition resistance and ERK-dependent pancreatic cancer.

Since 1985, his research has focused on elucidation of the mechanisms by which aberrant Ras oncoprotein signaling promotes the malignant progression and growth of pancreatic, colorectal, lung, and other cancers. 

With this grant, Dr. Der is planning to test an inhibitor of a protein in the Ras oncoprotein pathway, ERK.  His project is designed to predict methods by which pancreatic cancer cells may compensate for ERK inhibition and become resistant to this drug, so that he and his colleagues can devise a strategy to overcome the cells’ resistance and ensure that the drug is effective in treating pancreatic cancer.

Der at AACR Awards Dinner
Dr. Der at the Grants Dinner held on April 4, 2012 as part of the American Association for Cancer Research's annual meeting. Photo by © AACR/Todd Buchanan.