UNC Lineberger scientist's research funded by Joan's Legacy grant program

Wednesday, February 4, 2009 — William Y. Kim, M.D., assistant professor of medicine in the UNC School of Medicine, has received a two-year, $100,00 grant from the Thomas G. Labrecque Foundation through the Joan’s Legacy: Uniting Against Lung Cancer grant program.

Kim, one of 14 grant recipients nationally, is a member of the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center. He will use the grant to study the role of HIF2 in LKB1-defective lung tumors.

HIF is a protein involved in the growth of tumor blood vessels as well as the metastatic spread of tumors. HIF is activated when the LKB1 gene is lost, an event that occurs in up to a third of non-small cell lung cancer cases. Kim’s research will seek to determine if HIF is responsible for the poor prognosis of patients with LKB1 loss. The findings should have immediate implications for the treatment of lung cancer through the use of FDA-approved inhibitors of the HIF pathway.

The Joan’s Legacy program is named for Joan Scarangello, a writer and nonsmoker who died at age 47 after a fight with lung cancer.

UNC Lineberger contact: Dianne Shaw (919) 966-5905 dgs@med.unc.edu
News Services contact: Patric Lane, (919) 962-8596, patric_lane@unc.edu

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