Grant Renewed by National Cancer Institute to Study Next Generation of Cancer Immunotherapies

Monday, May 13, 2024
Grant Renewed by National Cancer Institute to Study Next Generation of Cancer Immunotherapies

With the goal of helping to unlock the future of cancer treatments, Mare Cudic, Ph.D., an associate professor, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, and director, Honors in Chemistry Program, Florida Atlantic Charles E. Schmidt College of Science, recently had her funding renewed by the National Cancer Institute with a $443,151 grant. The award will allow Cudic to further research her project, “Mechanistic insight into tumor-associated MUC1 glycopeptides binding to macrophage galactose-type lectin.”   

“This funding will allow me to further our efforts in understanding the immune recognition of cancer cells, and it will facilitate the development of effective cancer immunotherapy,” shared Cudic. “In addition, the project offers an opportunity for undergraduate and graduate students to participate in interdisciplinary research, combining chemistry and biology approaches for advancing the discovery of novel preventive cancer vaccines.”  

The main goal of her research is to prepare novel synthetic tools to explore glycan-protein interactions involved in cancer progression and metastasis. These interactions have not been extensively studied, even though aberrant tumor glycosylation is known to alter how the immune system perceives the tumor and can also induce immunosuppressive signaling that leads to the creation of a pro-tumor microenvironment. In Cudic’s lab, researchers are also using biophysical techniques, such as isothermal titration calorimetry and atomic force microscopy, to characterize the thermodynamics and kinetics profiles of these interactions.   

“This research may constitute an important roadmap for translating fundamental knowledge of tumor-associated glycan-protein interactions toward the next generation of cancer immunotherapies,” said Cudic.  

Tags: science

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