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PUBLIC RELEASE DATE:
1-Jul-2014

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Contact: Lisa Anderson
lisama2@gwu.edu
202-994-3121
George Washington University
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GW researcher receives more than $1 million in grants to study epigenetics of pancreatic cancer

WASHINGTON (July 1, 2014) Alexandros Tzatsos, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor of anatomy and regenerative biology at the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences, was awarded over one million dollars in grants from the National Institutes of Health to study the molecular foundations of pancreatic cancer.

In May, Tzatsos received an R00 award for $706K, which is the second phase of a National Cancer Institute K99/R00 Howard Temin Pathway to Independence Award in Cancer Research a grant meant to aid young researchers in setting up independent research labs. This grant will fund his research project, "The Role of Epigenetic Regulators in Pancreatic Cancer." In February, Tzatsos also received a $374K R21 award to fund his research project, "Elucidating and Targeting Epigenetic Oncogenic Networks in Pancreatic Cancer."

According to the American Cancer Society, pancreatic cancer is the fourth leading cause of cancer-related death in the U.S. Few cases are found early enough for effective treatment. Tzatsos studies the role of a histone demethylase that drives the development of pancreatic cancer and he has generated new genetically engineered mouse models to address the role of this epigenetic regulator in vivo.

"We propose to use those mouse models to study pancreatic cancer and develop targeted therapies in a preclinical level," said Tzatsos. "This could be key to understand the molecular pathology of pancreatic cancer and develop better therapies."

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For more information on Tzatsos' work, visit http://smhs.gwu.edu/tzatsos-lab/.

About the GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences: Founded in 1824, the GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences (SMHS) was the first medical school in the nation's capital and is the 11th oldest in the country. Working together in our nation's capital, with integrity and resolve, the GW SMHS is committed to improving the health and well-being of our local, national and global communities. smhs.gwu.edu



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