Dr. Weizhou Zhang Receives an NIH R01 grant award from the National Cancer Institute

January 28, 2016

Dr. Weizhou Zhang received a five-year NIH R01 grant entitled, 'Obesity, Inflammation and Breast Cancer'. Dr. Zhang and collaborator Dr. Fayyaz Sutterwala are investigating obesity-driven breast cancer with an emphasis on chronic inflammation associated with obesity. In particular, they have made the exciting discovery that inflammasome activation may be the key molecular pathway that links obesity with cancer progression. Dr. Zhang's group will therefore elucidate the cellular and molecular pathways triggered by the inflammasome in obese individuals that lead to ongoing inflammation and in turn, breast cancer. Obesity influences more than 35% of adults in the U.S., and there is no targeted therapy specific for obese cancer patients. The project's goal is not only to identify molecular targets for treatment of breast cancer in these patients, but to further test specific inhibitors of these targets in pre-clinical breast cancer models.