Cincinnati Cancer Center awarded over $200,000 in pilot grants to
members and basic research scientists who are collaborating to find out more
about various cancers with hopes of generating more data and additional
Just weeks after the
announcement that Yuhang Zhang, PhD, was selected as the recipient of a $19,640
grant, along with his mentor Zalfa Abdel-Malek, PhD, to research ways to treat melanoma,
the deadliest form of skin cancer, these initial goals became reality.
The Melanoma Research
Alliance (MRA) awarded an additional $60,000 to co-fund Zhang’s project with
the CCC as a Young Investigator Award, researching the roles and functions of
fibroblast in melanoma stroma (the framework of the cells) in promoting
melanoma development by regulating the expression of a protein called
facilitate the growth and migration of melanoma by providing structural and
James L. Winkle College of Pharmacy agreed to supplement this promising
research by providing Zhang’s salary support.
The CCC committed with
an additional $40,000, bringing the total support to $180,000 over three years.
"As a junior faculty
member, these awards are vital for my research career and advancement. I am
greatly appreciative,” says Zhang, associate member of the CCC, assistant
professor in the Winkle College of Pharmacy and member of the UC Cancer
"This is an important
collaboration and one of which we are happy to take part,” says Neil MacKinnon,
PhD, dean of the Winkle College of Pharmacy. "Dr. Zhang is very talented and
his research could help in gaining new clinical applications for melanoma
Shuk-Mei Ho, PhD,
director of the CCC, Jacob G. Schmidlapp Chair of Environmental Health and
professor at the UC College of Medicine, agrees.
"We are so happy
to be collaborating with the MRA and the Winkle College of Pharmacy to supply
this very important funding to Dr. Zhang,” she says. "We hope this support will
launch the careers of junior colleagues while helping to expedite some novel
research that could uncover new or better ways to study or treat cancers in
addition to providing preliminary findings that could lead to federal funding
opportunities and support the use of core facilities and shared physical
The University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and UC Health have created the Cincinnati Cancer
Center—a joint effort designed to leverage the strengths of all three
organizations in order to provide the best possible cancer diagnostics,
research, treatment, and care for individuals in the Tristate region and the
nation. To learn more, visit cincinnaticancercenter.org.