Dr. Paul Knoepfler, postdoctoral fellow in Dr. Bob Eisenman's lab in the Basic Sciences Division, is the recipient of the National Cancer Institute's Howard Temin Award.
The $700,000, five-year award, aimed at outstanding junior scientists, is a grant to bridge the transition from a mentored research environment to an independent basic research career studying human cancer.
Knoepfler's research focuses on analyzing the function of Myc genes — cancer-causing genes that affect the growth phase of cell division and many other aspects of cell biology — in brain development and nervous-system tumors. Using mouse models, his future work includes studying how the lack of the Myc genes affects brain development. He will also research how overproduction of the Myc protein may influence brain-tumor formation.
In collaboration with Dr. Philip Gafken, director of the Center's proteomics facility, Knoepfler plans to study the effects of Myc genes on overall ability of DNA, when packaged into structures known as chromatin, to program gene expression, which in turn influences many aspects of stem- and tumor-cell function.
Knoepfler was previously awarded a Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Career Development Special Fellowship and a fellowship from the Jane Coffin Childs Memorial Fund for Medical Research.
The NCI award is named for Nobel laureate Dr. Howard Temin, who won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1975 for his discoveries about RNA tumor viruses.