Two Grants Presented for Cancer-Related Research

Lucy Liu Ph.D.

Lucy Liu, M.D., Ph.D., (left) applauds her fellow grant recipient Aime Franco, Ph.D.

MARCH 12, 2013 | Newly awarded grants will expand research at the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS). 

The Envoys, a volunteer advocacy group of the Cancer Institute Foundation, presented two $10,000 grants to young investigators for cancer-related research projects. 

Recipients of the grants were Aime Franco, Ph.D., assistant professor in the UAMS Department of Physiology & Biophysics, and Y. Lucy Liu, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor in the Division of Hematology and Oncology of the UAMS Department of Internal Medicine.

Franco’s research titled The Pathogenesis of Thyroid Cancer is focused on understanding the development of anaplastic thyroid cancer, the most severe form of the disease. Median survival after diagnosis of anaplastic thyroid cancer is six months.  

“I am particularly honored to receive this award to continue our research on thyroid cancer, as this is both a personal and professional journey for me as a 12-year thyroid cancer survivor. We hope with our new model we will be able to better understand the progression of the disease so we can develop new treatment and prevention strategies,” Franco said. 

Liu’s project, Investigating the Role of Over-Expression miR-183 in Leukemia Transformation, will study how leukemia transforms in the body. It also will test new therapies in treating leukemia. 

“The funded proposal is a part of our ongoing project to study the mechanism of leukemia transformation. Being selected surely convinces me that our research is going in the right direction. The awarded funds will prepare us with more data for further seeking extramural funding in order to continue our mission,” Liu said. 

Money for the grants is raised at the Envoys’ annual RockStar Lounge event. This year’s event will be held on May 31 at the River Market Pavilion and will feature Dallas-based KISS tribute band Rock and Roll Over. More details can be found at www.cancer.uams.edu/rockstar

You can give to support research or honor a loved one who has benefitted from care at the Cancer Institute by making an online donation in his or her name. Your gift will support treatment for today and research for the future.

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