Dr. William Grady, an assistant member of the Center's Clinical Research Division, and an attending physician at the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, was among 60 scientists to receive a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers from President Bush on June 13 in Washington, D.C. Grady, also a research associate at the Veteran's Administration (VA) Puget Sound Healthcare System, was nominated for the award by the Veterans Administration Office of Research and Development. In addition to the presidential citation, the VA will provide research funding of $25,000 per year for five years.
"I am honored to receive this award as it a statement from my peers regarding the importance of the work that we are doing in my lab," Grady said.
Grady studies the mechanisms that cause normal cells in the colon to turn into cancer cells. There are multiple processes occurring at the molecular level that cooperate to make this happen; Grady's lab is focused on the development of resistance to a potent tumor suppressor called transforming growth factor beta (TGF-β). TGF-β normally suppresses the growth of tumors, including colon cancer, and many colon cancers become resistant to its effects. A very common way colon cancers do this is by inactivating a receptor for TGF-β, called transforming growth factor beta-receptor type II (TGFBR2).
"We have been studying the specific downstream events that happen inside a cell when the TGFBR2 receptor is inactivated," he said.
Grady joined the Hutchinson Center in 2004. He joined the VA faculty in Nashville, Tenn. in 2000 and subsequently received an Advanced Research Career Development Award there in 2002. He transferred his VA position and grant to Seattle.