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AACR Anna D. Barker Basic Cancer Research Fellowship

The AACR Anna D. Barker Basic Cancer Research Fellowship represents an effort to encourage and support mentored young investigators to conduct basic cancer research and to establish successful career paths in this field. Eligibility is limited to postdoctoral and clinical research fellows who have completed their most recent doctoral degree within the past three years. The research proposed for funding may be in any area of basic cancer research.

2019 Grantee

Chaoyun Pan, PhD

Chaoyun Pan, PhD

Postdoctoral Fellow
Emory University
Atlanta, Georgia
The role of kinase-mediated inositol metabolism in chemotherapy resistance

Scientific Statement of Research
Platinum-based chemotherapy such as cisplatin is the front-line treatment against a wide array of solid tumors. Despite initial therapeutic success, development of resistance to platinum-based chemotherapeutic agents presents a major challenge. Metabolic reprogramming to maintain redox balance has previously been linked to cisplatin resistance, but the precise mechanisms by which rewired tumor metabolism regulates redox status in cancer cells to provide cisplatin-resistant tumor growth remains unclear. Dr. Pan’s preliminary data show that inositol-trisphosphate 3-kinase B (ITPKB), a key factor in inositol phosphate metabolism, acts as a synthetic lethal target partner for cisplatin treatment through NOX4 inhibition. He hypothesizes that ITPKB and its metabolite product IP4 are critical drivers of cisplatin resistance by balancing redox status through NOX4 regulation. He proposes to elucidate the molecular mechanism by which the ITPKB-NOX4 axis contributes to cancer cisplatin resistance. Additionally, he aims to validate ITPKB as a novel therapeutic target for cisplatin-resistant cancer treatment.

Dr. Pan received his doctorate degree from Nanjing University, Nanjing, China, where he studied how human cytomegalovirus established latent infection by regulating human early response genes and reprogramming the immune system. He then joined Dr. Sumin Kang’s lab at Emory University as a postdoctoral fellow. Since 2016, he has been studying chemotherapy resistance under the guidance of Dr. Sumin Kang. His current work focuses on the role of kinases and related cell metabolism in cancer chemotherapy resistance and metastasis.

Acknowledgement of Support
I sincerely thank the grant review committee for selecting me as a recipient for the 2019 AACR Anna D. Barker Basic Cancer Research Fellowship. This prestigious fellowship represents an invaluable opportunity to accomplish my proposed research. It will provide an important encouragement to develop my career in cancer research.