Graduate student Ethan Abel has been awarded a Research Scholar Award from the Joanna M. Nicolay Melanoma Foundation. Twenty-four candidates were evaluated for the award.
Ethan Abel, a graduate student working with Andrew Aplin, PhD, in the Kimmel Cancer Center, has received a $10,000 Research Scholar Award from the Joanna M. Nicolay Melanoma Foundation.
The primary objective of the Joanna M. Nicolay Melanoma Foundation is to give recognition and support to outstanding graduate students and their institutions that are actively involved in melanoma research. Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer.
Ethan’s research will focus on the mutations in a protein called BRAF. Mutant B-RAF alters the expression of other genes in melanocytes to promote uncontrolled growth, resistance to death, and spreading beyond the confines of the skin. One gene that is suppressed by mutant B-RAF is called FOXD3, which functions as a cellular switch by turning the expression of genes on and off as needed. Ethan’s research will seek to determine how FOXD3 induces a growth arrest in melanoma cells, how B-RAF suppresses FOXD3 expression, and what factors can induce its expression. A further understanding of the role and regulation of FOXD3 in melanoma may lead to novel therapies for treating the disease.
Also pictured: Gary Safko, President, Joanna M. Nicolay Melanoma Foundation and Dr. Richard Pestell, Director, Kimmel Cancer Center
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