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​AACR-Amgen Inc. Fellowships in Clinical/Translational Cancer Research

The AACR-Amgen Inc. Fellowships in Clinical/Translational Cancer Research represent a joint effort to encourage and support mentored young investigators to conduct clinical and/or translational cancer research. Eligibility is limited to postdoctoral and clinical research fellows who have completed their most recent doctoral degree within the past five years. Proposed research projects may be in any area of clinical and/or translational cancer research.

2017 Grantee

Dunbar-Photo_90x110.jpgAndrew Dunbar, MD
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
New York, New York
EZH2 as a therapeutic target in ASXL1-mutant myelofibrosis

Scientific Statement of Research
Recently, loss of function mutations of ASXL1 (Additional sex combs-like 1) and other epigenetic modifying proteins have been found to occur in a significant number of patients with JAK2-mutant myelofibrosis and other myeloid diseases. Clinically, these mutations confer decreased responsiveness to JAK2 inhibitor therapy, increased risk of transformation to acute leukemia, and worsened overall survival in affected patients. ASXL1 cooperates with the methyltransferase EZH2 (enhancer of zeste homolog 2) to epigenetically regulate downstream target gene expression and influence normal and malignant hematopoiesis. Dr. Dunbar and the Levine lab have hypothesized that EZH2 inhibition might further enhance chromatin dysregulation beyond that of ASXL1 loss alone and drive genotype-specific cell death in ASXL1-mutant MPN cells. Dr. Dunbar's project aims to delineate the functional and mechanistic role of EZH2 inhibitors in ASXL1-mutant MPNs in order to leverage this therapy for potential use in this high-risk patient population.

Dr. Dunbar is currently a second year hematology/oncology fellow at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, New York. Dr. Dunbar attended medical school at New York Medical College in Valhalla, New York, and completed his internal medicine residency training at New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center. He currently works in the laboratory of Dr. Ross Levine, an international leader in the study of the genomics and epigenomics of myeloid malignancies. Following fellowship training, Dr. Dunbar hopes to continue his translational work exploring the role of epigenetic dysregulation in malignant myeloid diseases and ultimately one day have his own lab.

Acknowledgement of Support
I hope to one day have my own lab and contribute to finding newer and smarter ways to treat cancer. The AACR-Amgen Inc. Clinical/Translational Cancer Research Fellowship is a prestigious and influential award that provides a strong foundation upon which to build my career. It is an honor to be given this opportunity.

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