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CHAPEL HILL, NC – Yanping Zhang, PhD, associate professor in the department of radiation oncology at the UNC School of Medicine, has been awarded the third annual Hyman L. Battle Distinguished Cancer Research Award in recognition of his work.

The award, established in 2007 by the Battle Foundation of Rocky Mount, NC, recognizes exceptional cancer research at the medical school and comes with a $25,000 prize. The Battle Award fund is a permanent endowment held by The Medical Foundation of North Carolina, Inc.

Zhang, a member of the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, is an internationally-known researcher in cancer cell biology, particularly in the area of tumor suppressor p53, a protein regarded as “the guardian of genome”.

Zhang and his colleagues study cell signaling pathways involving p53 that are disabled in nearly all human cancers. His most recent work redefined how scientists are looking at these pathways, pointing out several new approaches for the development of pharmaceuticals targeting tumors with mutations in the genes that regulate p53.

Colleagues nominating Zhang for the Battle Award praise his mentorship of doctoral and postdoctoral trainees, including his leadership in organizing the UNC Lineberger Postdoc-Faculty Research Conference.

Zhang has more than 30 original research publications in high-impact journals. He has received significant awards and honors including the 2000 Howard Temin Award (now the Kirchstein Award), the 2000 Burroughs Wellcome Career Award in Biomedical Sciences, a 2001 M. D. Anderson Research Trust Award, a 2007 Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Scholar Award, and a 2008 UNC Jefferson-Pilot Award.

Hyman L. Battle (1896-1972) established the Battle Foundation in 1946. His grandfather, Kemp Plummer Battle, was an early president of UNC-Chapel Hill.

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