Dr. Anthony Leung, an associate professor in the department of biochemistry and molecular biology at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, has been awarded the 2019 Shikani/El Hibri Prize for Discovery & Innovation. The annual prize recognizes excellence in the laboratory sciences and discoveries that have the potential to significantly advance biomedical science and translate into improvements to patient care or the public’s health.
Dr. Leung researches RNA biology and the role it may play in cancer and viral infection. Since 2011 he has served as principal investigator of a laboratory dedicated to RNA research.
Dr. Leung and his team focus on two classes of non-coding RNAs: microRNAs and circular RNAs. The team recently found that, during stress that is common in cancers and viral infection, microRNA activities and other RNA metabolic processes are regulated by a “druggable” post-translational modification called ADP-ribosylation and by PARPs, the enzymes that catalyze ADP-ribosylation. Given that PARP inhibitors have shown promise in treating cancers, neurodegenerative diseases and ischemia, Leung and his team are actively exploring the role of poly (ADP-ribose) regulation in microRNA activities in these diseases.
Based at the Bloomberg School, the lab is also affiliated with the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins.Tags: Friday Letter Submission, Publish on June 28