Cancer research seed grants awarded

University of Iowa Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center has announced the recipients of the 2019 American Cancer Society Institutional Research Grant (ACS-IRG) seed grant awards. These awards are made to junior faculty members and independent research scientists to initiate their careers in cancer research and to provide them with funds to explore new ideas related to the cause, prevention, and treatment of cancer.

Joseph Caster, MD, PhD, and Thorsten Maretzky, PhD

Each researcher will receive a $30,000 grant:

  • Joseph Caster, MD, PhD, assistant professor: Utilizing the synergistic effects of hypofractionated radiation and PARP inhibitors to enhance responsiveness to T-cell checkpoint inhibitors.
  • Thorsten Maretzky, PhD, assistant professor: The role of ADAM17 in FGFR2-mediated activation of EGFR signaling in endometrial cancer

UI Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center also announced the recipient of the 2019 Benz Seed Grant Program. This award focuses on a project related to psychosocial issues, complementary and alternative medicine, and other aspects of cancer research with a focus on quality of life for cancer patients and survivors:

Sneha Phadke, DO, and Kanchna Ramchandran, MS, PhD

Sneha Phadke, DO, clinical assistant professor, internal medicine, and Kanchna Ramchandran, MS, PhD, associate research scientist, internal medicine, will lead a pilot study of a condition that patients diagnosed with cancer often call “chemo brain.” The researchers will study bio-markers of how the brain works following chemotherapy and develop a treatment for patients being treated for breast cancer.