AACR-Takeda Oncology Fellowships
The AACR-Takeda Oncology (formerly Millennium Pharmaceuticals) Fellowships represent a joint effort to promote and support mentored young investigators to conduct cancer research and to establish successful career paths in this field. Funded research may be basic, translational, clinical, or epidemiological in nature.
Metabolic reprogramming occurs during tumorigenesis; however, metabolic therapies to treat cancer are generally lacking. Dr. Kang previously found that non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cells are highly dependent on cystine (oxidized cysteine). In addition, his preliminary results indicate that cysteine limitation antagonizes serine metabolism and may induce serine dependency. Thus, he hypothesizes that cysteine starvation and the resulting reliance on serine metabolism in NSCLC leads to lethal consequences and that synergistic therapy targeting serine metabolism may increase anti-cysteine therapeutic efficacy.
Dr. Kang received his PhD degree from Seoul National University. During his PhD studies, he received training in GC-MS and LC-MS based metabolomics and lipidomics technologies. Now, applying these high-throughput techniques as a postdoctoral fellow at Moffitt Cancer Center, he is exploring the role of metabolism during lung cancer progression.
Acknowledgment of Support
I am greatly honored to receive the AACR-Takeda Oncology Lung Cancer Research Fellowship. This opportunity will greatly support me on my path to become an independent scientist, aiming towards the development of efficacious cancer therapy.
The histone methyltransferase NSD2 is overexpressed in 15-20 percent of multiple myeloma (MM) patients due to the t(4:14) chromosomal translocation. Dr. Sobh hypothesizes that different genetic lesions in MM differentially impact histone methylation and transcriptional profiles driven by NSD2 overexpression. He is set to conduct RNAseq and H3K36/H3K27 methylation ChIPseq analyses in different NSD2-high and NSD2-low isogenic pairs to define key genes deregulated by NSD2 overexpression. He is also performing genome-wide CRISPR-based loss-of-function screens to identify genetic liabilities and synthetic-lethal drug-gene interactions associated with NSD2 overexpression in MM cells.
Dr. Sobh received a PhD in comparative biochemistry from the University of California, Berkeley. His research in graduate school focused on implementing functional genomics tools to study various cellular processes, including nutrient homeostasis as well as susceptibility to chemical carcinogens and chemotherapeutic agents. He is currently a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Florida, where he is studying the molecular consequences and vulnerabilities associated with NSD2 overexpression in multiple myeloma.
Acknowledgement of Support
Receiving the 2019 AACR-Takeda Oncology Myeloma Research Fellowship is a key milestone in establishing a career in cancer research. I am pleased and grateful to be a recipient of this fellowship that will provide support for my professional development to become an independent researcher in the field of hematologic malignancies.