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Johnathan Whetstine, Ph.D.

Johnathan Whetstine
Fox Chase Cancer Center
Chromatin Factors Impacting Lung Cancer
Lung Cancer Discovery Award
Funded by the American Lung Association of the Northeast

Cancers occur when genetic mutations build up in critical genes, specifically those that control cell growth and division or the repair of damaged DNA. These changes allow cells to grow and divide uncontrollably to form a tumor. Abnormal duplication of genes increases lung cancer-associated risk and drug resistance. Gene amplification is a frequent genetic abnormality in cancer cells and consists of multiple extra copies of a region of DNA. We have discovered eight enzymes that lead to genetic changes linked to drug resistance in lung cancer. We will investigate how these eight enzymes lead to cancer gene amplification in lung cancer. This research will uncover novel biomarkers in lung cancer and identify new drug targets to tackle aggressive, drug-resistant lung cancer.

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