RUNX1 Research Program Announces New Grants for Innovate Cancer Research

Leading RUNX1 Researchers Gathering in Philadelphia Nov. 12th-15th

Online PR News – 26-October-2017 – Santa Barbara, CA – The RUNX1 Research project is proud to announce it has awarded three grants for research in 2017 in conjunction with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation.

The first grant recipient was Dr. Guy Sauvageau from the University of Montreal who was the primary researcher on a study of “RUNX1 mutations that confer exquisite sensitivity to glucocorticoids”. Dr. Sauvageau discovered that a class of steroid hormones called glucocorticoids that’s selectively inhibits the growth of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) cells containing RUNX1 mutations in cell culture. He plans to investigate how glucocorticoids inhibit the growth of RUNX1 mutant AML cells and to test the ability of glucocorticoids to inhibit AML in a mouse model.

The second grant was awarded to Dr. Benjamin Ebert from Harvard Medical School. Dr. Ebert is the primary researcher studying Interaction of RUNX1 and the cohesin complex in megakaryocyte development and myeloid disease. This award will allow Dr. Ebert to study the cooperation between mutations in RUNX1 and in a gene encoding a member of the cohesin complex, STAG2. He plans to generate a mouse model for the combined RUNX1 and STAG2 mutations and study hematopoiesis and leukemia progression. He will also evaluate inhibitors of CDK8, a member of the transcriptional mediator complex for their activity and study the mechanism of action in the context of RUNX1 and/or STAG2 mutations.

The final grant was given to Dr. Stephen Nimer, from University of Miami - Miller School of Medicine. Dr. Nimer, who is the lead researcher examining ‘Epigenetic-modifying enzymes in FPD/AML’. This grant will help Dr. Nimer evaluate the ability of inhibitors or activators of epigenetic gene regulation to promote the differentiation, or inhibit the self-renewal, proliferation, and survival of RUNX1 mutant hematopoietic cells derived from cultures of human-induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). He will also generate a mouse model with combined mutations in RUNX1 and in a gene called ASXL1, which have been found to co-occur in a subset of FPD/AML patients with AML and test the activity of inhibitors or activators of epigenetic gene regulation in this model.

RUNX1 Research Program is also sponsoring its first scientific conference in Philadelphia at Penn Medical Center November 12-15, 2017. Over 145 researchers and medical experts worldwide will come together to discuss and share their current RUNX research. The recipients of the RUNX1 Research Program’s grants (in partnership with Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation for Childhood Cancer and the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society) will be featured in talks and breakout sessions on November 13th.

About RUNX1 Research Program: The RUNX1 Research Program (RRP) is a research and advocacy nonprofit committed to funding research and supporting patients with FPD/AML germline, a 'familial platelet disorder involving a hereditary mutation in the RUNX1 gene which predisposes an individual to acute leukemia. The RRP's primary aim is to fund world-class innovative and cross-disciplinary cancer research to find a means to prevent the development of leukemia for those with the inherited mutation. In addition, RPP is committed to providing education and a forum through which RUNX1 Patients can connect.