AACR-Bayer Stimulating Therapeutic Advances through Research Training (START) Grants

The AACR-Bayer Stimulating Therapeutic Advances through Research Training (START) Grants represent an exciting initiative to encourage and support collaboration between academia and industry. The combined academic and industry training provided through this program will be invaluable to young investigators, allowing them to attain a comprehensive research experience. Projects have direct applicability and relevance to clinical translation and development in solid tumors and hematologic malignancies.

2018 Grantees

Mark P. Labrecque, PhD

Mark P. Labrecque, PhD

Senior Fellow
University of Washington
Seattle, Washington
FGF and AR pathway inhibition in AR-expressing CRPC

Research
It is hypothesized that androgen receptor (AR)-expressing metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer bypasses AR pathway blockade through activation of the fibroblast growth factor (FGF) pathway. Thus, combined FGF and AR pathway inhibition can be more effective at preventing tumor cell proliferation and survival than AR inhibitor monotherapy. Dr. Labrecque has been investigating the efficacy of FGF and AR pathway inhibitors alone or in combination. The mechanisms driving combination therapy response and resistance will be determined through deep molecular profiling of treatment-resistant cell lines and PDX tumors. The overarching goal of the research is to support a combination therapy clinical trial in men with AR-expressing mCRPC.

Biography
Dr. Labrecque received his PhD in health sciences from Simon Fraser University. His doctoral research, supported through a Prostate Cancer Canada fellowship, focused on transcription factor crosstalk and the role of the retinoblastoma protein in hypoxic tumor microenvironments. He joined the Department of Urology at the University of Washington as an Institute for Prostate Cancer Research postdoctoral fellow. Currently, he uses metastatic biospecimens, patient-derived xenograft models, and in vitro approaches to understand and target the molecular underpinnings driving treatment-resistance in advanced prostate cancer.

Acknowledgement of Support
I am profoundly thankful and honored to be awarded an AACR-Bayer START Grant. This generous support and the opportunity to train with an industry leader like Bayer will be instrumental for my career development and will hopefully lead to better therapies for men with advanced prostate cancer.

Shyamal Subramanyam, PhD

Shyamal Subramanyam, PhD

Research Fellow
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
New York, New York
Targeting CHK2 regulation of BRCA1 in DNA end resection for novel therapies

Research
The cellular capacity to repair DNA damage via homologous recombination depends on DNA end resection. Utilizing genome editing tools to precisely calculate the extent of DNA resection, Dr. Subramanyam has been determining how DNA end resection is regulated. In addition, he has been characterizing the spatio-temporal dynamics of proteins involved in DNA end resection, using live cell super-resolution microscopy.

Biography
Dr. Subramanyam completed his PhD in Biochemistry at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he focused on understanding molecular mechanisms in DNA repair at a single molecule level. His postdoctoral research focuses on building on his experiences from graduate school to visualize molecular mechanisms of DNA repair within living cells.

Acknowledgement of Support
I thank the committee for appreciating and generously supporting my proposed work for the 2018 AACR-Bayer Stimulating Therapeutic Advances through Research Training Grant. In addition to facilitating my development as an independent scientist, I hope we can make significant inroads into further understanding the fundamental mechanisms that regulate DNA repair.