September 1, 2006

Dr. Gang Li Awarded 2 Year Research Grant from The Canadian Cancer Society

The Canadian Cancer Society has recognized the research of The Skin Care Centre's Dr. Gang Li and has awarded him a grant to study "Activation of nuclear factor kappaB p50 by integrin-linked kinase in melanoma cellular migration, invasion and tumor growth".

Cutaneous melanoma is a severe and life-threatening skin cancer. Melanoma metastasizes to other organs rapidly, and currently there is no cure for metastatic melanoma. The exact molecular mechanisms for rapid invasion and metastasis of melanoma are still unknown.

Previously, we have shown that the expression of integrin linked kinase (ILK) is correlated with melanoma tumour thickness and lymph node metastasis. In this project, Dr. Li will further investigate whether ILK upregulates nuclear factor kappaB (NF-kB) and Rho family GTPases and metalloproteinases for melanoma cell migration and invasion. In addition, Dr. Li will use in vivo animal model to test if silencing ILK and NF-kB expression will inhibit tumour growth and metastasis.

This project will highlight the therapeutic value of targeting ILK and NF-kB in inhibiting melanoma tumour growth and reducing its metastatic potential that may lead to a more effective treatment of patients with malignant melanoma.

This award is $60,000/yr for 2 years from Sept 1, 2006 to Aug. 31, 2008.

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