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Dr. Munir Tanas Receives a Merit Award from the Department of Veteran Affairs

December 30, 2016

Dr. Munir Tanas

Dr. Munir Tanas received a four-year VA Merit Award, entitled “Upstream regulation of TAZ and YAP in sarcomas: towards combinatorial therapy targeting the Hippo Pathway.”

The proposed studies will build upon recent findings by Dr. Tanas’ lab showing that the YAP and TAZ oncoproteins are abnormally activated in 50% and 66% of sarcomas, respectively. These findings and additional preliminary results were developed in collaboration with Drs. Christopher Stipp (Biology), Michael Henry (Molecular Physiology and Biophysics), Adam Dupuy (Anatomy and Cell Biology), Mohammed Milhem (Internal Medicine), Benjamin Miller (Orthopedics), and the Sarcoma Multidisciplinary Oncology Group.

The preliminary findings have led to the hypothesis that understanding the upstream regulation of TAZ and YAP could lead to new targeted therapy approaches for sarcomas. Dr. Tanas will utilize tumor samples from the University of Iowa sarcoma tumor bank, human sarcoma cell lines, and knock-out mouse models of human sarcoma to further elucidate upstream mechanisms regulating TAZ and YAP in sarcomas.