The Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF) today announced the funding of 21 new Young Investigator Awards at 17 leading cancer centers in the U.S. and Canada. Designed to encourage the most innovative minds in cancer research to focus their careers on prostate cancer, the awards provide recipients with three years of funding to test transformational research questions for prostate cancer patients. The 2010 Young Investigator Awards represent a new $4.5 million investment in the global cancer research community by PCF.
“We are investing in the careers of the world’s ‘best of the best’ in computer science, molecular biology, pharmacology, radiation oncology, medical oncology and endocrinology to answer the challenge of discovering better treatments and cures for prostate cancer,” commented Howard R. Soule, PhD, executive vice president and chief science officer for PCF.
Amond the recipients is Dr. Amina Zoubeidi, who was award the Durden Foundation – PCF Young Investigator Award
Dr. Zoubeidi’s research is focused on determining the function of a molecule called Heat Shock Protein 27 (Hsp27), which has been implicated as a promoter of tumor cell movement, invasion and metastasis in many cancers including prostate cancer. Hsp27 supports cell survival during stress conditions, such as cancer treatment. Early results from Dr. Zoubeidi’s team suggests that Hsp27 may also induce a cellular structural change in prostate cancer cells that enable the cells to detach from the tumor microenvironment and move to other sites of the body, resulting in lethal metastasis. Dr. Zoubeidi has outlined a comprehensive plan to describe the molecular “blue-print” of protein interactions orchestrated by Hsp27 that drive progression of prostate cancer. An inhibitor of HSP27 is currently undergoing clinical investigation in advanced prostate cancer. Analysis of specimens from these treated patients will further enable her ability to define the benefits of blocking this molecular pathway
About The Prostate Cancer Foundation
The Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF) is the world’s largest philanthropic source of support for accelerating some of the world’s most promising research in prostate cancer. The foundation’s primary goal is discover better treatments and cures for recurrent prostate cancer. PCF pursues its mission by reaching out to individuals, corporations and others to harness society’s resources—financial and human—to fight this deadly disease that strikes one out of every six men.
Founded in 1993, the PCF has raised nearly $400 million and provided funding to more than 1,500 researchers at nearly 200 institutions worldwide. PCF also funds the Prostate Cancer Clinical Trials Consortium (PCCTC) in partnership with the U.S. Department of Defense. The PCCTC is a network of 13 cancer centers across the country that accelerates patient enrollments in clinical trials for new medicines to treat prostate cancer. The foundation has been a pioneer in the grant making process, simplifying paperwork for grantees and leaving more time for researchers to conduct needed scientific research. The PCF also advocates for greater awareness of prostate cancer and more governmental support for basic, translational and clinical cancer research, resulting in a 20-fold increase in government funding for prostate cancer. More information about the PCF can be found at www.pcf.org.