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Mei Koh Awarded $1.7M Grant for Kidney Cancer Research

Sep 26, 2017

Mei Koh Awarded $1.7M Grant for Kidney Cancer Research

Dr. Mei Koh, Department of Pharmacology & Toxicology, awarded new R01 grant totaling $1.7M over 5 years for research into new strategies to treat kidney cancer.

Has Dr. Mei Koh discovered a new strategy to treat kidney cancer? The National Institutes of Health (NIH) seems to think so. They have awarded Dr. Koh one of the largest single investigator grants available, a Research Project Grant (R01), to the amount of $348,203 a year for five years. This will be Dr. Koh’s second R01 grant for her research into kidney cancer. With current funding rates for new NCI/NIH R01 grants hovering around 10%, it is hard to overestimate the significance of this grant to Dr. Koh and to the College of Pharmacy community.

Having recently joined the College of Pharmacy from the Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute in La Jolla, California, Dr. Koh has quickly found success. An Assistant Professor within the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, and investigator at the Huntsman Cancer Institute, Dr. Koh participates as faculty member of the Molecular Biology and Biological Chemistry Research programs, even as she runs her research laboratory.

The funded research will explore a new treatment strategy for kidney cancer – by targeting HIF-2α production and iron accumulation within tumor cells. Dr. Koh’s lab has identified a new way to selectively block HIF-2α production and slow tumor growth by blocking a novel component of tumor-specific iron metabolism. They want to understand how this pathway is regulated and determine its significance to the growth and progression of kidney cancer.

Could we use this strategy in actual kidney cancer treatment?

To follow Dr. Koh’s research and for more information about this new strategy, please visit her website

Dr. Koh sitting on bench