Chad Pecot, MD, assistant professor in hematology and oncology, has received a V Scholar Award from the The V Foundation for Cancer Research. Dr. Pecot is one of 20 recipients in the United States to receive the two-year $200,000 award.
Dr. Pecot’s research focuses on lung cancer with a particular interest in how RNA interference (RNAi) can regulate cancer metastases. The development of new blood vessels, termed angiogenesis, is critical for cancer to grow and metastasize. The 2014 V Scholar award will support Dr. Pecot’s work on how small RNAs, called the miR-200 family, block cancer angiogenesis and metastasis.
Dr. Pecot explains, “We know that miR-200 blocks a process called epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) which is critical for metastasis to occur, however we discovered it also potently inhibits angiogenesis.” This funding will help further understanding of how miR-200 works and how to use it therapeutically. “We already have evidence that miR-200 works in several cancers: lung, triple-negative breast, ovarian and kidney,” he says. “We are developing nanoparticle therapies that will deliver miR-200 directly within the tumor. It’s very exciting. Metastasis accounts for 90% of cancer deaths. If we can effectively deliver miR-200, we can have a big impact on cancer survival.”
Dr. Pecot’s perspective as an investigator is informed by his experience as a testicular cancer survivor. As one who has benefitted from advances in cancer treatment, he brings particular dedication to his work. “My interest in making advances in cancer care is fueled by my own personal experience and especially those of my patients.”
The V Scholar Program is designed to identify and bolster the careers of talented young investigators. The awards help talented young scientists establish their laboratories and gain the competitive edge necessary to earn additional funding from other sources.
For more information on The V Foundation For Cancer Research, please visit www.jimmyv.org.