2015-07-01 15:25:55 UTC

AGA Supports Research Into Iron-Driven Colon Tumorigenesis

May 19, 2015

Dr. Xiang Xue will use his AGA Research Scholar Award to fill important gaps in CRC research.

In 2015, the AGA Research Foundation awarded five Research Scholar Awards (RSAs) to young investigators who were passionate about developing independent and productive research careers in digestive diseases. One of this year's winners, Xiang Xue, PhD, from the University of Michigan, will use his grant to improve our understanding the mechanisms of iron-driven colon tumorigenesis. AGA asked Dr. Xue a few questions about how he plans to use his RSA.

How will this grant further your career?
I am receiving this grant at a very critical stage in my career. This funding will facilitate the further development of my academic career in GI physiology and disease by ensuring that a major proportion of my time is protected for research.

What is your research focus?
My research focuses on mechanisms, which drive the progression of colon cancer. The role of cell metabolism in colon cancer has been well studied; however, understanding mechanisms and significance of micro-nutrient metabolism in cancer are not known. Several large epidemiological studies show a direct correlation between high systemic iron levels and colon cancer risk. Previously we reported that dysregulation of local iron homeostasis by the transcription factor HIF2α is a major pathway in driving the progression of colon cancer.

What's the next step for your research?
Currently, the precise mechanisms leading to increased intratumoral iron and the role iron plays in colon carcinogenesis are still unclear. This fellowship provides me with the opportunity to fill these important gaps, with the hope of providing novel therapeutic targets for colon cancer treatment.

If you'd like to support the work of young investigators, such as Dr. Xue, make a donation to the AGA Research Foundation.

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