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Faculty & Staff Honors

Faculty & Staff Honors

Johns Hopkins: Faculty Serving as Collaborating Co-Lead on NIH-Funded Wistar Institute-Led Research on Targeted Therapies for Melanoma

Dr. Ashani T. Weeraratna, Bloomberg Distinguished Professor of Cancer Biology and the E.V. McCollum Chair of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, will serve as the principal investigator of a collaborative research project that includes Johns Hopkins, University of Pennsylvania, Thomas Jefferson University, and the Wistar Institute. The project is supported by a $12.5 million, five-year National Institutes of Health (NIH) National Cancer Institute (NCI) grant.

Dr. Weeraratna and colleagues will investigate new melanoma targeted therapies and the role the tumor microenvironment plays in influencing responses to therapy as well as the development of resistance. Dr. Weeraratna’s collaborating principal investigator is Dr. Meenhard Herlyn, director of Wistar’s Melanoma Research Center and professor in the Molecular and Cellular Oncogenesis Program.

During the previous funding cycle, the team revealed the impact of aging on the tumor microenvironment, defined metabolic mechanisms that influence tumor cell survival and immune cell regulation, and identified several novel molecular targets and potential inhibitors.

Dr. Weeraratna was a member of Wistar’s faculty for eight years before joining the Bloomberg School in August 2019. At Hopkins, Dr. Weeraratna is also co-program leader of the Cancer Invasion and Metastasis Program at the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.

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