Fifth year MD-PhD Student, Nneoma Adaku, has been awarded an F30 Research Grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). This award will support Ms. Adaku's research in the Tavazoie Lab at The Rockefeller University on her project "Elucidating the Function of LRP1 in APOE-mediated Suppression of Melanoma Metastasis."
Metastasis is the primary killer of cancer patients, and this well-demonstrated by metastatic melanoma which represents only 1% of all skin cancers but causes over 80% of skin cancer deaths. The Tavazoie laboratory has previously demonstrated that the “Alzheimer’s gene” APOE is a potent suppressor of melanoma metastasis, but the molecular mechanisms underlying this activity remain largely unknown. Ms. Adaku's project aims to uncover how APOE works via its cellular receptor LRP1 to inhibit melanoma cell invasion. Understanding this mechanism may uncover novel therapeutic targets for the prevention and treatment of metastatic melanoma.