Putting Stimulus Money to Good Use

Leukemia research furthered by federal funds

Post-doc Kimberly Fryrear and her advisor, Oli KerscherFor the past year the research of Kimberly Fryrear, a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of biology assistant professor Oliver Kerscher, has benefited from funds received as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). These funds have made it possible for her to continue research on cellular defenses against cancer:

" Our research focuses on how TAX, a protein involved in the development of Leukemia, finds its way around the cell and overcomes critical cellular defenses against cancer” says Dr. Fryrear.  " Just like the ZIP code on a letter assures the timely delivery of the mail, small proteins that become attached to TAX guide this protein around the cell”.  This guided trip around the cell allows TAX to interfere with DNA repair process, ultimately causing uncontrolled cell division or cancer. This research would not have been possible without the support of the ARRA grant supplement for the Kerscher lab and Kim Fryrear.

The ARRA funds provided salary support, research supplies, and monies to present this exciting research at the 2010 meeting of the American Society of Cell Biology in Philadelphia. In addition, this work has culminated in a manuscript that is currently under revision for publication.  Dr. Kerscher concludes: "Our lab tries to unravel some of the fundamental processes that allow cells to protect their DNA.  Eventually, we hope, that the results of Dr. Fryrears ARRA funded research find their way into the clinic to help patients."