Seungmin Hwang, PhD - 2013 Young Investigator
“The Role of Autophagy Pathway in the Development and Function of Tumor Associated Macrophages”
Awarded a $75,000 2013 Cancer Research Foundation Young Investigator Award
Tumor-associated macrophages (TAM) play important roles in the growth and invasion of tumors, therefore, targeting molecular pathways regulating the development and function of TAM holds great potential for anti-cancer therapy. Autophagy ("self-eating") is an intracellular self-degradation pathway that is important for the homeostasis and differentiation of cells. The role of autophagy in tumor progression is multifaceted and can function as both tumor suppressor and tumor promoter, depending on the context of tumor microenvironment. The goal of this proposal is to investigate the role of autophagy in the functional differentiation of TAM and its subsequent effect on tumor progression. Elucidating such role of autophagy in TAM function will lead to a better understanding of the role of autophagy in systemic cancer progression and better potential for developing effective immune-system-based anti-cancer therapy.
"I owe a great deal to the Cancer Research Foundation for giving me a head start. This financial help made the difference between my getting a fast and successful start, and my other wise struggling to obtain the necessary funds to get my research program started."Elaine Fuchs, Ph.D.
Professor, Departments of Medicine and Molecular Genetics and Cell Biology and Human Genetics University of Chicago
April 30, 2010