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Dr. Weizhou Zhang Receives a Research Grant Award from the National Institutes of Health/National Cancer Institute

August 5, 2016

Dr. Weizhou Zhang received a five-year NIH/NCI R01 research grant, entitled “CD177 suppresses breast-cancer development by inhibiting beta-catenin”.

Dr. Zhang and collaborator Dr. Katherine Gibson-Corley identified CD177 as a novel predictor for breast-cancer relapse and metastasis. CD177 was initially studied in neutrophil adhesion, but its function in cancer progression and relapse was unknown. Dr. Zhang’s laboratory will use various approaches to study the suppressive role of CD177 in breast-cancer development and metastasis, with the goal to understand the molecular mechanisms by which CD177 regulates these processes. In particular, research efforts will determine how this novel tumor suppressor inhibits WNT/beta-catenin, an oncogenic signaling pathway important in breast cancer pathogenesis.

Importantly, identifying the means by which CD177 and its associated proteins control beta-catenin signaling will not only provide new information as to the regulation of this key oncogenic pathway, but also potentially identify novel targets for therapy.