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New Researcher Boosts Cancer-fighting Efforts in Oklahoma

Friday, January 24, 2014 - Campus News - Contact Theresa Green, (405) 833-9824

Finding ways to stop the spread of cancer is the focus of work by a new researcher at the Peggy and Charles Stephenson Cancer Center at the University of Oklahoma.  

Jun Chung, Ph.D. brings with him a total grant portfolio of more than $1.4 million in out-of-state funding to Oklahoma. His work centers on developing a better understanding of the mechanisms leading to the metastasis or spread of cancer cells. 

Recent research in his lab studies a specific protein, which plays an important role in how cells communicate with each other and their surrounding environment. When levels of this protein are elevated, it significantly impacts the molecular processes that lead to tumor metastasis. 

Chung currently is focused on the development of a novel therapeutic strategy to block the function of this protein, with a specific emphasis in breast cancer.               

"We are excited to have Dr. Chung join our outstanding team of cancer researchers at the Stephenson Cancer Center," said Robert Mannel, M.D., director of the Cancer Center. "His expertise will enhance research that is occurring in several areas, and we think he will be a great resource and collaborator."  

Chung's research has been supported by competitively-awarded grants from the National Cancer Institute, the American Cancer Society and the Department of Defense.      

Chung will be appointed an Oklahoma TSET Cancer Research Scholar in recognition of the Oklahoma Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust's ongoing efforts to reduce the burden of cancer in the state through supporting research. He is one of eleven new cancer researchers recruited in the past year to the Cancer Center and one of eight with NCI funding. The Cancer Center is working to bring at least 20 new NCI-funded researchers to Oklahoma. 

About the Peggy and Charles Stephenson Cancer Center

As the state's only comprehensive academic cancer center, the Stephenson Cancer Center at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center is raising the standard of cancer care in Oklahoma through research and education. Clinical services at the Stephenson Cancer Center are provided by more than 50 oncology physicians who specialize in all types of cancer. In partnership with the Oklahoma Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust, the Stephenson Cancer Center is decreasing the burden of cancer in Oklahoma by supporting innovative laboratory, clinical and populations-based research. The Stephenson Cancer Center has over 160 research members who are conducting more than 100 cancer research projects at institutions across the state. This research is supported by more than $25 million in annual funding from sponsors such as the National Cancer Institute and the American Cancer Society.  

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