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National Lung Cancer Partnership Grants Awarded, Recipients Focus on Breakthroughs for Treatment of Lung Cancer and Mesothelioma

The National Lung Cancer Partnership has announced the 2011 recipients of their Young Investigator Research Grants.  The awards were developed “to support lung cancer researchers early in their careers and ignite their interest in the field.”   One recipient, Dr. Sunil Singhal, who treats pleural diseases, including mesothelioma, will focus his research on targeting immune-suppressing factors to lead to more effective treatments for lung cancer, and ultimately, mesothelioma.

Pleural mesothelioma is a form of lung cancer that is almost always caused by asbestos exposure and is most commonly found in the outer lining of the lungs called the mesothelium.  While pleural mesothelioma affects the outer lining of the lungs, lung cancer is a malignancy in the lung itself.  The two pulmonary cancers are often difficult to distinguish; however, the treatments for lung cancer and pleural mesothelioma are often very similar.

This year’s grant recipients will receive $100,000 total distributed over two years.  Since the beginning of the Lung Partnership’s research grants program in 2005, they have  awarded over $2.2 million to support lung cancer research.  

This year’s grant recipients include:

  • Puneeth Iyengar, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor, UT Southwestern Medical Center:  Dr. Iyengar hopes to determine how proteins affect inflammation in lung cancer patients and to improve survival through enhanced radiation therapy.
  • Celine Mascaux, MD, PhD, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, University of Colorado-Denver:  Dr. Mascaux will focus on identifying biomarkers to develop a non-invasive, widely available method for improving early detection of cancer.
  • Sunil Singhal, M.D., Thoracic Surgeon, Assistant Professor, University of Pennsylvania:  Dr. Singhal has a goal to develop methods for targeting immune-suppressing factors to make current treatments more effective.

The awards are available to clinical and basic science fellows and junior faculty to “ensure effective translation of basic and behavioral research discoveries into patient therapies to reduce lung cancer incidence, morbidity and mortality.” Many of the previous grant winners’ findings may contribute to improved survival rate and early detection for lung cancer and mesothelioma patients.

The National Lung Cancer Partnership offers the “Free to Breathe” series of fitness events throughout the country as a way for individuals, families, and companies to show their support.

For a list of upcoming events see Free to Breathe.

2011 Young Investigator Recipients


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Nancy Meredith is a blog and web content writer with more than 20 years of professional experience in the Information Technology industry. She has been writing about Mesothelioma for 4 years. Follow Nancy on Google+

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