Second Research Grant Recipient Named for 2018 Chesapeake Urology Prostate Cancer Research Scholarship
Published On: 01/18/2018
Investigators Continue Focus on Finding a Cure for Prostate Cancer
Following a rigorous peer-review process conducted in October 2017, the second research grant from the Chesapeake Urology Prostate Cancer Research Scholarship has been awarded for 2018. The grant was awarded to Francesco Cambuli, PhD, an exceptional early-career investigator, who will begin his two-year prostate cancer research study on July 1, 2018. Based at Columbia University in New York, Dr. Cambuli will receive funding for his research study on the possible genetic causes of metastatic prostate cancer.
Chesapeake Urology’s Prostate Cancer Research Scholarship was fully endowed through the American Urological Association’s Urology Care Foundation in 2016 after meeting its $1 million goal. This goal was achieved from funds raised from the past eight ZERO Prostate Cancer Challenge events, Chesapeake Urology’s signature fundraising event held annually to find a cure for prostate cancer, focus efforts on research, and to provide much needed prostate cancer support services to the community.
Dr. Cambuli’s project, entitled “Identification of Master Transcriptional Regulators of Neuroendocrine Differentiation in Prostate Cancer,” will be conducted at Columbia University under the mentorship of Michael Shen, PhD. Dr. Cambuli will explore about 40 genes identified as key transcriptional regulators of neuroendocrine differentiation, via CRISPR-based screen, in human prostate cancer cells and organoids. He will then validate the most promising genes in an appropriate mouse model and in human prostate cancer tissue microarrays. The goal of this research is to develop strategies to prevent or control therapy resistance in men at high-risk of metastatic prostate cancer.
In addition, Chesapeake Urology’s first scholarship awardee, Mirja Rotinen, PhD, has completed the first year of her two-year award on a project entitled “Onecut2: A Novel Master Regulator Transcription Factor Predicted to be Highly Active in Castration-resistant Prostate Cancer.” Within the first year, Dr. Rotinen has already submitted an international patent application based on the quality and success of her work. Additionally, she plans to submit a manuscript containing part of this work to a high-impact journal, and has delivered presentations at the Prostate Cancer Foundation Annual Meeting and the 2017 AUA Annual Meeting. She continues her research under the mentorship of Michael Freeman, PhD at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.
Sanford Siegel, M.D., CEO of Chesapeake Urology, stated, “The Chesapeake Urology Prostate Cancer Research Scholarship will be here long after we are gone or until a cure for prostate cancer is found. This is a legacy that everyone at Chesapeake Urology has played a role in making a reality.”
In her letter outlining the 2018 research scholar awardee, Dr. Carolyn Best, Director of Research at the American Urological Association, said, “It is with thanks to Dr. Sanford Siegel and all of the leadership of Chesapeake Urology for making this funding opportunity a reality. The Urology Care Foundation greatly appreciates the support of Chesapeake Urology in enabling the Research Scholar Award program to offer a two-year research award for 2018.”