American Association for Cancer Research

AACR Dharma Master Jiantai Innovative Grant for Lung Cancer Research

The AACR Dharma Master Jiantai Innovative Grant for Lung Cancer Research provides additional funding to an investigator for an existing project that develops and studies new ideas and approaches that have direct application and relevance to lung cancer. Following the Grant-in-Aid of Research model, this support supplements existing funding for an investigator conducting a basic or translational research project that will contribute to the acceleration of progress against lung cancer, for the ultimate goal of improving patient care.


David B. Shackelford, Ph.D.David B. Shackelford, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, The Regents of the University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA

Develop Novel Therapeutic Strategies to Target LKB1-deficient Lung Cancer 

"I conduct basic translational cancer research and I am focused on uncovering the molecular mechanisms driving carcinogenesis, developing new in vitro and in vivo cancer models, and identifying new personalized therapies to treat cancer based on the tumor’s genetic and molecular alterations. My primary expertise is in signal transduction where I utilize genetically engineered mouse models of lung cancer to study essential growth and survival pathways in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). By integrating molecular biology, immunohistochemistry and micro FDG-PET and CT imaging into preclinical studies I have developed a multifaceted, rapid methodology to analyze tumor development, therapeutic response, and identify new therapeutics with the aim of translating my discoveries into clinical studies. In a recent study I have demonstrated a previously unrecognized vulnerability in non-small cell lung tumors to undergo tumor cell death following treatment with the metabolic therapeutic phenformin. Our study opens up the possibility of repurposing therapeutics, originally designed to treat metabolic disease to be used as anticancer agents in the clinic.

"In order to develop my research and translate discoveries from the bench to the clinic I have begun aligning my research with skilled physician researchers as well as utilizing the numerous resources offered by UCLA’s Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI)."

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