Graduate student Hengyu (Henry) Lu, a graduate student in the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Baylor College of Medicine and trainee in the NCI-designated Dan L. Duncan Cancer Center at Baylor, has received one of five nationally competitive Research Scholar Award grants from the Joanna M. Nicolay Melanoma Foundation.
The $10,000 grant award recognizes exceptional graduate students conducting melanoma research and also provides distinction to lab directors, universities and cancer research institutions across the United States. Lu’s research focuses on the homeobox transcription factor A1 (HOXA1) gene and its role in melanoma progression to provide insights in the molecular mechanisms of melanoma metastasis (the spread of cancer to other parts of the body) and reveal inroads to novel therapeutic design.
“Henry certainly has a bright future ahead of him, and this award will provide him an excellent opportunity to build his thesis research project aimed at making a sustained impact on the treatment of melanoma,” said Dr. Kenneth Scott, an assistant professor of molecular and human genetics and a member of the Duncan Cancer Center at Baylor who serves as Lu’s mentor.
“Our Foundation’s ‘Research Scholar Awards’ are invaluable at the grassroots level, to specifically grow interest in melanoma research, at leading cancer research centers nationwide,” said Regina Shannon Bodnar, chair of the Foundation. “If we can attract the brightest young minds, that are considering or are already within the nation’s cancer research pipelines, to pursue a career in melanoma research – we’re that much closer to better understanding the disease, identifying the means for effective treatments and, most importantly, finding a cure for this deadly and increasingly prevalent disease.”