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$7.5 Million grant to Yale researchers for role of viruses in cancer

New Haven, Conn. -- The National Cancer Institute recently awarded a five-year, $7.5 million program project grant to investigators at the Yale School of Medicine to continue studies on the role of viruses and mutant cellular proteins in tumorigenic transformation of cells.

This grant, "Program on the Molecular Basis of Viral and Cellular Transformation," is currently in its 31st year and is one of the largest and longest-running basic science grants at Yale. It coordinates studies to understand how viral genes and related cellular genes cause cells to escape normal growth controls and induce cancer.

"Because viruses are so well-defined and relatively simple compared to their host cells, we are optimistic that studies supported by this grant will continue to identify new targets for therapy and suggest new approaches to prevent and treat cancers," said principal investigator Daniel DiMaio, M.D., Waldemar Von Zedtwitz Professor of Genetics and vice chair of the Department of Genetics.

DiMaio studies human papillomaviruses (HPV), the causative agents of cervical cancer. His laboratory has shown that HPV oncogenes must be expressed continuously in cervical cancer cells for the cells to maintain their malignant characteristics, validating the viral genes as new therapeutic targets. In the current granting period, the DiMaio laboratory will continue to dissect the pathways activated when HPV oncogenes are repressed in cervical cancer cells.

Epstein-Barr Virus and Kaposi's Sarcoma Herpesvirus, two herpesviruses that are unusual in their ability
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Contact: Janet Rettig Emanuel
janet.emanuel@yale.edu
203-432-2157
Yale University
22-Sep-2004


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