Thorsten Maretzky, PhD, Assistant Professor of Infectious Diseases, has been awarded a $30,000 American Cancer Society Institutional Research Grant via the Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center. Dr. Maretzky’s year-long project, “The role of ADAM17 in FGFR2-mediated activation of EGFR/MAPK signaling in endometrial carcinomas (EC),” may result in identifying new target molecules for the design of more selective drugs to treat EC and other related carcinomas.
The FGFR2 gene provides instructions for the manufacture of a protein that promotes cell division and growth, among other activities. Mutations in this gene trigger another protein-coding gene ADAM17, which may be cause the failure of the heparin-binding epidermal growth factor and its receptor, allowing for the survival and proliferation of certain uterine cancer cells. Dr. Maretzky will use these funds to identify the signaling pathways of FGFR2 and better define the role of ADAM17 and its connection to EC. About 61,000 new cases of EC, or uterine cancer, are newly diagnosed and result in about 11,000 deaths of women each year.