Vassiliki Saloura, MD - 2014 Young Investigator Award
“The role of WHSC1-mediated histone H1 methylation in squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (SCCHN)”
Awarded a $75,000 Young Investigatior Award.
Over 50,000 men and women will be diagnosed with head and neck cancer this year. Current treatments are generally highly toxic and there is a significant risk for metastatic recurrence which invariably leads to death. This project investigates the role of a unique intracellular pathway, the methylation of linker histones, which package DNA into the chromosomes, by the histone methyltransferase Wolf-Hirschhorn syndrome candidate 1 (WHSC1) in head and neck cancer. In cancer, it is possible that the aberrant function of linker histones contributes to cancer growth via altered chromatin structure leading to aberrant gene expression. Experiments in this project will aim to assess the effect of WHSC1-mediated methylation of linker histones on the ability of cancer cells to die, resist to chemoradiotherapy and to develop features of adaptability and thus resistance to treatment. Successful completion of this project will provide the groundwork for the introduction of novel WHSC1 inhibitors in the clinic for patients with head and neck cancer.
"Thanks to the hard work, commitment, and compassion of scientists, researchers, and organizations like the Cancer Research Foundation, there is renewed hope for discovering better treatments and eventually a cure for cancer.
I commend all of you for your outstanding contributions to the field of cancer research. For five decades, your commitment to the crusade against cancer has given hope and comfort to people across the nation."
Former President of the United States
May 05, 1997