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UC Davis genomics expert wins cancer research grant

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November 14, 2013

Luis Carvajal-Carmona
Luis Carvajal-Carmona

Luis Carvajal-Carmona, assistant professor in the UC Davis Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine and a scientific member of the UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center, has received a prestigious 2013 scholar grant from The V Foundation.

The V Foundation’s $200,000 two-year grants are provided to “rising star” scientists – the best and brightest young researchers who are developing their own independent laboratory research projects. Carvajal-Carmona was one of 18 researchers selected for scholar awards for 2013.

Carvajal-Carmona’s project aims to identify novel breast cancer genes in isolated populations using exome sequencing.

“I am very grateful to The V Foundation for supporting our research on breast cancer genetics,” he said. “We hope that novel gene discoveries will lead to new biological insights into the patho-biology of breast cancer, to improved prevention, and ultimately to the development of personalized breast cancer treatments.”

In addition to the identification of new genes associated with breast cancer, Carvajal-Carmona said the grant will allow him and his laboratory to obtain additional genomic data to support future grant applications.

“An added benefit of this study, which will be carried out using samples from Hispanic patients, is that it will generate a body of knowledge that can be used to address cancer disparities in this population in the United States," he said.

Robert Blast, vice president for translational research at MD Anderson Cancer Center and a member of the V Foundation’s Scientific Advisory Board, said the V scholars represent the future of cancer research.

“Their drive and innovation make an impact on the care of patients with cancer,” Blast said.

The V Foundation for Cancer Research was founded in 1993 by ESPN and the late Jim Valvano, legendary North Carolina State basketball coach and ESPN commentator. The foundation has funded more than $115 million in cancer research grants nationwide.