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Media Contact: Vincent Joseph Dollard 22 October 2008    
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Emory Scientist Earns American Cancer Society Grant to Fight Multiple Myeloma
Emory cancer researcher Jing Chen, PhD, has earned a $720,000 award from the American Cancer Society to support his work on new drug targets in multiple myeloma. Multiple myeloma is one of the most common blood cancers found in patients over 65 with more than 15,000 new cases diagnosed each year.

"Current chemotherapy and even newer reagents are inadequate in treating this disease," says Chen. "This award will help us to extend our work finding and validating critical signaling effectors that could be therapeutic targets in the future."

Chen is an assistant professor of hematology and medical oncology at Emory University School of Medicine and Emory Winship Cancer Institute.

He and his colleagues recently identified ribosomal S6 kinase 2 (RSK2) as one of the key growth circuits in multiple myeloma cells. Abnormalities in the fibroblast growth factor receptor 3 (FGFR3) gene are present in around 15 percent of multiple myeloma tumors, and the overproduction of FGFR3 activates RSK2.

Chen says he plans to study RSK2's role in driving out-of-control growth and to test inhibitors of RSK2 for their ability to block multiple myeloma. The award is $180,000 per year for four years.

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