Zhihao Zhuang, associate professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of Delaware, has received a four-year, $792,000 Research Scholar Award from the American Cancer Society.
The award will fund his lab’s ongoing work on a molecular approach to
boosting the effectiveness of drugs used to fight cancer.
Zhuang and his team recently reported a new finding in this research.
Their discovery that a deubiquitinase (or DUB) complex may be a key
regulator of the DNA damage response and a target for overcoming
resistance to platinum-based anticancer drugs was published in the
journal Nature Chemical Biology on Feb. 16.
Their work addresses two major pathways in the DNA damage response,
the translesion synthesis pathway and the Fanconi anemia pathway. “We’re
very encouraged by the fact that a single molecule is effective at
disrupting two essential DNA damage tolerance pathways,” Zhuang says. “This is very promising as a new weapon in the arsenal against cancer.”
The letter informing Zhuang of the award said that he had been
selected to join “an elite group of scientists and health care
professionals who have received awards from the American Cancer
Society.” That select group includes researchers from Yale University,
the University of Pennsylvania, MIT, Stanford University, the University
of Chicago, and a number of other prestigious institutions across the
“Support from the American Cancer Society is evidence that our
research is relevant to their mission of finding answers that save
lives,” Zhuang says.
Although larger states like California, Illinois, and Pennsylvania
attract multiple research scholar awards from the American Cancer
Society each year, Zhuang and his team received the only one in Delaware
About the American Cancer Society
For more than 65 years, the American Cancer Society has funded
research and training of health professionals to investigate the causes,
prevention, and early detection of cancer, as well as new treatments,
cancer survivorship, and end of life support for patients and their
families. Since its founding in 1946, the American Cancer Society’s
extramural research grants program has devoted more than $4 billion to
cancer research and has funded 47 researchers who have gone on to win
the Nobel Prize.