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Launch of New Center for Proteomics and Drug Actions

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Vanderbilt University Medical Center and the National Foundation for Cancer Research (NFCR) have announced the establishment of a new cancer research center that will be linked in with seven others around the world.

The NFCR Center for Proteomics and Drug Actions, funded by a $1 million, 5-year grant from NFCR, will be led by Dr. Larry Marnett, Ph.D., the Mary Geddes Stahlman Professor of Cancer Research and professor of Biochemistry, Chemistry and Pharmacology at Vanderbilt University.

The center will be co-directed by Dr. Dan Liebler and Dr. Richard Caprioli, also of Vanderbilt.

Scientists at the Center will collaborate to develop new technology that will reveal how drugs interact with the protein targets, both therapeutic and the potential side-effects.

The combined expertise of these three scientists at this NFCR center will make contributions to cancer proteomics research and anticancer drugs development.

Already, through earlier financial support from NFCR, Dr. Marnett has been able to develop techniques that manipulate the structure of drug agents and make them bind to their targets tightly, thus forming stable drug-target markers that make them easier to be detected and extracted. This grant allows Dr. Marnett to expand and take his research to a new level.

“Our grant to the NFCR Center for Proteomics and Drug Actions brings together three of the top chemical scientists in proteomics research linking them in with other researchers around the world to work on the development of new anticancer drugs. It is this type of collaboration that will speed along the development of new cancer drugs and help save lives,” said Franklin Salisbury, Jr., President of the National Foundation for Cancer Research.

Cancer is an extremely complex disease—with over 200 different types and subtypes, requiring extensive collaboration across a variety of scientific disciplines.

As a result, NFCR has founded the NFCR Discovery Research Centers initiative of which this Center will join in conjunction with other NFCR Centers at the University of Oxford, Yale University, Case Western Reserve University, University of Alabama-Birmingham, Dana Farber Cancer Center in Boston, MA, Translational Genomics Research Institute in Phoenix, AZ, and the Institute of Medicinal Biotechnology in Beijing.

“This investment by NFCR creates an opportunity to advance our understanding of an area that will have a substantial impact on the future of how cancer is treated. The unique role that NFCR plays in funding research like ours will have a very positive long-term impact for future cancer patients all over the world,” Marnett said.