The association awards the two-year grants to young, talented scientists working to further decode the origins of specific brain tumors, and ultimately, to find new and effective treatments.
Zhang’s research involves working with genetically engineered mouse cancer models, which are potentially very powerful tools for helping understand cancer molecular pathogenesis and developing preclinical drugs.
She and her colleagues at Lineberger in the lab of Terry Van Dyke, Ph.D., have generated a series of models of astrocytoma and glioblastoma, two clinically challenging brain tumors. They are using these to study how cancer development is affected by the status of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), a frequent genetic change in those brain tumors and a hot drug target in cancer treatments.
Founded in 1973, the American Brain Tumor Association seeks to eliminate brain tumors through research while meeting the education and social service needs of brain tumor patients, their families and caregivers. About 360,000 people in the United States are living with a brain tumor.