Andrew Vaughan receives Cancer Research Coordinating Committee Award
May 29, 2012
The California Cancer Research Coordinating Committee (CRCC) has awarded Dr. Andrew Vaughan over $50,000 to conduct cancer research. Dr. Vaughan’s research will review the development of cancer and how it proceeds by the loss of specific genes (tumor suppressors) or the increased production of others (oncogenes). It is often assumed these changes occur at random, and Dr. Vaughan and others have generated data to show that such changes may not be random at all, and in fact, may represent genes located in “weak” areas of the genome that are prone to fragmentation and rearrangement. They have shown such areas may be linked to stretches of DNA that may form DNA palindromes, that is where a single strand of DNA anneals with itself, blocking normal transcription of the involved gene. The team intends to study these regions with the goal of verifying their involvement in carcinogenesis and developing ways to inhibit the process. The key element is to identify a mechanism for gene rearrangement such that it can be suppressed, limiting tumor formation.