News Release: Research, Winship Cancer Institute

Mar. 17,  2009

Emory Winship Cancer Institute Awards Seed Grants for Head and Neck Cancer Research

News Article Image

Emory's Winship Cancer Institute has awarded five career development and four developmental project grants for promising research in head and neck cancer. 

These grants, totaling $255,000 are part of the Head and Neck Specialized Programs of Research Excellence (SPORE) grant, which the National Cancer Institute awarded to Emory Winship in 2007. The Head and Neck Cancer SPORE was the first such grant awarded in the state of Georgia. 

An integral part of the $12.5 million SPORE grant is support of innovation and new ideas in head and neck cancer research. The Career Development grants and Developmental Project grants are funded from the SPORE grant.

"One unique aspect of the SPORE Program is its ability to promote ongoing innovation and new ideas in translational research in head and neck cancer," says Dong Moon Shin, MD, director of the head and neck SPORE, professor of hematology and medical oncology at Winship and Georgia Cancer Coalition Distinguished Scholar. "Through this grant program, the NCI is ensuring that we have a strong ‘farm team system' through which we will continue to develop innovative cancer research."

The Career Development Program provides training and guidance for young physician and laboratory-based scientists who dedicate their efforts to research in the areas of diagnosis, imaging, prevention, treatment and quality of life in head and neck cancer. 

The Developmental Research Program seeks to identify new research opportunities and to increase the number of investigators engaged in translational research for head and neck cancer. The program supports investigators collecting preliminary data that can later be used to support larger-scale grant applications. It also supports investigators exploring ideas that are typically deemed too high risk to receive funding from other sources. Emphasis is placed on new investigators, trainees completing their education, and established investigators new to head and neck oncology.

SPORE Career Development Program  2009   

  • Amin, Ruhul PhD, Chemoprevention of HNSCC by Dietary Polyphenols EGCG and Luteolin, Mentor: CS Yang, PhD, $25,000
  • Brandes, Johann MD/PhD, Predictive markers for chemotherapy response in incurable HNSCC, Mentor:    Fadlo Khuri, MD, $25,000
  • Kang, Sumin PhD , Pro-metastatic Protein Kinase Signaling in Head and Neck Cancer, Mentor: Georgia Chen, PhD, $25,000
  • Perkins, Trey MD, PhD, DNA Repair Enzymes as Predictive and Prognostic Biomarkers for Head and Neck Carcinoma, Mentor: Paul Doetsch, PhD, $25,000
  • Wang, Xuerong PhD, Role of IRS1 in lymph node metastasis of HNSCC, Mentor: Shi-Yong Sun, PhD, $25,000

SPORE Developmental

  • Govindarajan, Raj PhD (Univ of Georgia), Human Equilibrative nucleoside transporter-1 (hENTI1) and Human Concentrative Nucleoside Transporter-1 (hCNTI): their role in determining Gemcitabine efficacy in advance HNC, $25,000
  • Hudgins, Pat MD (Radiology), Pretreatment staging of oral cavity SCC: Role of dual phase contrast-enhanced computed tomography vs MRI, $35,000
  • Mao, Zixu PhD (Pharmacology), The Role of Nuclear Factor MEF2D in Head and Neck Cancer Growth,    $35,000
  • Sun, Xiaodong PhD (WCI), Tumor suppressor role of ATBF1 in HNC, $35,000

"We were very pleased with the high quality of grant submissions for these awards," says Shin. "These grants demonstrate that the future is bright for advances in treating this difficult cancer."


The Robert W. Woodruff Health Sciences Center of Emory University is an academic health science and service center focused on missions of teaching, research, health care and public service. Its components include schools of medicine, nursing, and public health; Yerkes National Primate Research Center; the Emory Winship Cancer Institute; and Emory Healthcare, the largest, most comprehensive health system in Georgia. The Woodruff Health Sciences Center has a $2.3 billion budget, 17,000 employees, 2,300 full-time and 1,900 affiliated faculty, 4,300 students and trainees, and a $4.9 billion economic impact on metro Atlanta.

Learn more about Emory’s health sciences:
Twitter: @emoryhealthsci

File Options

  • Print Icon Print