Foundation Lends Support to Yang’s Leukemia Research

October 24, 2008

Laurie Holloway

Genetic research into the cause of a certain type of leukemia has won Vanderbilt Medical Center’s Elizabeth Yang, M.D., Ph.D., a $50,000 grant.

Yang’s research project will study how SHP2 (a cancer-causing gene found in childhood leukemias) causes B cell leukemia.

“This innovative research will provide important insights into the disease mechanisms which underlie juvenile myelomonocytic leukemia, a rare form of leukemia in children, and also has much broader implications for our understanding of the more common childhood leukemias,” said James Whitlock, M.D., director of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology.

The one-year grant was awarded by the non-profit St. Baldrick’s Foundation, which coordinates head-shaving events to raise money for childhood cancer research.

“I see this funding as affirmation that our work is important to childhood cancer,” Yang said. “So far, we have found new clues to how the oncogene Shp2 works in pediatric leukemias in ways not previously known.”

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