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Funding Type: St. Baldrick's Scholar
Institution Location: Indianapolis, IN
Institution: Indiana University affiliated with IU Health Proton Therapy Center, Riley Hospital for Children
Children continue to die from leukemia because malignant cells overcome chemotherapy by turning off normal genetic safety checkpoints. Dr. Nalepa has found that loss of the same checkpoints makes cancer growth dependent on other genes, which represent possible anti-cancer targets. Dr. Nalepa is investigating the weak points of the cancer cells, and testing these precision-medicine strategies in new models of childhood leukemia. Dr. Nalepa will use the results of this testing to generate personalized therapy driven by cancer-specific mutations that will be more effective and less toxic for children who suffer from leukemia.