Major named American Cancer Society Research Scholar

The American Cancer Society (ACS) has named Ben Major, PhD, assistant professor with the University of North Carolina School of Medicine and UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center member, as a 2014 Research Scholar.

The recognition comes with a $738,000 grant to help fund research into the KEAP1 tumor suppressor protein in lung cancer. Major’s lab focuses on how different mutations within KEAP1 differentially affect its function, as not all mutations are identical. They also aim to uncover mechanisms of KEAP1 inactivation that do not involve somatic mutation. This work will instruct drug development strategies and advise lung cancer therapy decisions. 

 Major received his PhD from the University of Utah Huntsman Cancer Institute in 2004. Major was named a 2010 Sidney Kimmel Scholar and, the same year, won the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director’s New Innovator Award.

The American Cancer Society, the largest non-government, not-for-profit funding source of cancer research in the United States, awarded $42.9 million in national research and training grants to 103 scientists and health professionals in the first of two grant cycles in 2014. The grants will fund investigators at 68 institutions across the United States; 89 are new grants while 14 are renewals of previous grants.

About the American Cancer Society

For more than 65 years, the American Cancer Society has funded research and training of health professionals to investigate the causes, prevention, and early detection of cancer, as well as new treatments, cancer survivorship, and end of life support for patients and their families. Since its founding in 1946, the American Cancer Society’s extramural research grants program has devoted more than $4 billion to cancer research and has funded 47 researchers who have gone on to win the Nobel Prize.