Dr. Rachel M.A. Linger

A cancer researcher at the University of Colorado Cancer Center will receive a $100,000 grant for her novel work on two receptor tyrosine kinases in lung cancer.

Dr. Rachel M.A. Linger, a postdoctoral fellow, was named the recipient of the grant from Joan’s Legacy: Uniting Against Lung Cancer. It is the third award Dr. Linger has won for her work in the past several months.

“It feels amazing to know that I now have my salary supported for the next two years so I can concentrate on my work,” Linger said. “Funding like this is critical for any young investigator. Without it, it’s difficult to start and maintain a career in academic science.”

Linger’s scientific expertise is in tyrosine kinase signaling in human cancer, and specifically the role of a protein Axl receptor tyrosine kinase in lung cancer. Dr. Doug Graham, Linger’s mentor, found that the presence of a related tyrosine kinase correlates with drug resistance. Where Graham’s work has primarily been in pediatric leukemia, Linger is expanding the studies to include lung cancer. She is doing studies in the lab to provide proof of concept that these receptor tyrosine kinases are involved in lung cancer. She is also working to develop molecules that might serve as inhibitors of these receptors, and if the lab can demonstrate they work, they may be candidate compounds for clinical testing.

Linger also received a career development award from the UCCC Lung Cancer Special Program of Research Excellence, which is supporting her research in a competitive funding environment.

About the University of Colorado Cancer Center
The University of Colorado Cancer Center is the Rocky Mountain region’s only National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center. NCI has given only 40 cancer centers this designation, deeming membership as “the best of the best.” Headquartered on the University of Colorado Denver Anschutz Medical Campus, UCCC is a consortium of three state universities (Colorado State University, University of Colorado at Boulder and University of Colorado Denver) and five institutions (The Children’s Hospital, Denver Health, Denver VA Medical Center, National Jewish Health and University of Colorado Hospital). Together, our 400+ members are working to ease the cancer burden through cancer care, research, education and prevention and control. Learn more at www.uccc.info.

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