"We are very thankful to St. Baldrick's for supporting this project. Research can be really frustrating, especially when first starting a new lab, and it's really encouraging to get recognition from such a prestigious foundation like St. Baldrick's," Dr. Hyde said.
Plus, she said, it's just nice to know your ideas are on the right track.
Dr. Hyde, an assistant professor in the department of biochemistry and molecular biology, was among 90 researchers nationwide to receive a grant from the St. Baldrick's Foundation.
The St. Baldrick's Foundation, the largest private funder of childhood cancer research grants, announced the grants in a July 25 press release.
Dr. Hyde said the grant from the St. Baldrick's Foundation allows her lab to investigate a potential new treatment for children affected by acute myeloid leukemia (AML).
"The kind of AML we study is caused by a specific mutant protein," she said. "Unfortunately, there aren't any drugs that block the leukemia-causing, mutant protein."
Her research team found that the mutant protein has a partner protein, and without the partner protein, the mutant protein can't act.
The significance of the finding is that there are already drugs that block the partner protein being used to treat other cancers.
"This grant from St. Baldrick's Foundation will allow us to test whether these drugs can also be used to treat kids with AML," Dr. Hyde said.
Dr. Hyde, who was recruited to UNMC four years ago to join the Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center, said that one of the advantages of doing this research in the new cancer center is the ability to work so closely with the clinicians that treat leukemia.
"Because of this, any promising results we find in the lab could easily translated to clinical trials with patients," she said.
"St. Baldrick's leads the charge to take childhood back from cancer and is dedicated to funding the best research," said Kathleen Ruddy, CEO of the St. Baldrick's Foundation.
Since 2005, St. Baldrick's has funded more than $230 million in lifesaving childhood research grants to support every stage of the research process.
Yay! Congratulations for this well deserved grant award.
Congratulations! Well deserved.