U54 PROJECTS (2010-2015); Grant total $13.7m
Pilot Project 1:Design and Optimization of Molecular Photoacoustic Contrast Agents (MPACs) for In Vivo Imaging of Breast Cancer Tumors
Principal Investigators: Chandra Yelleswarapu (UMass Boston), Jonathan Rochford (UMass Boston), Nancy Kohl (DFCI) and Jen-Chieh Tseng (DFCI)
Pilot Project 2: Synthesis and Screening of Chemical Libraries for Discovery of NovelBromodomain Inhibitors
Principal Investigators: Wei Zhang (UMass Boston) and James Bradner (DFCI)
Pilot Project 3: Developing a Resiliency Program for Medical Interpreters in Cancer Care
Principle Investigators: Jan Mutchler (UMass Boston) and Elyse Park (MGH)
Project 1: Latino End-of-Life Care: Patient, Provider, and Institutional Effects
Principal Investigators: Holly Prigerson (DFCI), Paul Maciejewski (BWH), Jan Mutchler (UMass Boston)
Abstract: Latinos receive more aggressive, burdensome end-of-life (EOL) care (eg, ICU stays, resuscitation) and less hospice care than non-Latino whites. The available evidence suggests that the EOL care Latinos receive may be suboptimal and inconsistent with their wishes, and inferior to the EOL care that whites receive. The overarching aim of this study is to identify the most promising targets for interventions designed to enable Latinos to receive: a) high quality EOL care, and b) care consistent with their values and preferences (“treatment goal attainment”). Our preliminary results, and those of others, suggest that there is a critical need for data at institutional, provider, and patient levels so that their relative influence can be discerned. The primary aims of the proposed study are to obtain multi-level data and use hierarchical linear modeling (HLM) to estimate patient, provider and institutional effects on Latino-white disparities in EOL care and treatment goal attainment.
Project 2: In Vivo Analysis of Signaling Dynamics in the Notch Interaction Network
Principal Investigators: Spyridon Artavanis-Tsakonas (HMS), Alexey Veraksa (UMass Boston)
Abstract: The Notch signaling pathway plays a critical role in multiple cell fate decision events in metazoans, and recently has been implicated in the pathology of cancer in humans. Genetic and biochemical evidence has revealed a large network of modulators that are involved in establishing a precise level of Notch signaling and determining tissue- specific outcomes of pathway activation, from the interaction of the Notch receptor with its ligands Delta and Serrate to transcriptional regulation of the Notch target genes.
Project 3: Covalent Fluorescent Probes for Cancer Cell Detection
Principal Investigators: Nathanael Gray (DFCI), Priscilla Yang (HMS), Wei Zhang (UMass Boston)
Abstract: Fluorescence imaging is a powerful tool that permits visualization of specific cell states within a population; however, existing methods for fluorescence labeling are not experimentally accessible for many biological systems. Furthermore, fluorescent small-molecule sensors of cell state may provide a valuable alternative with significant benefits relative to existing methods for fluorescence imaging. The overall goal of this project is to create fluorescent small molecule ATP-site directed probes that can selectively label particular kinases and serve as imaging probes of normal versus pathological cell state.
Project 4: Nursing Post-Doctoral Program in Cancer and Health Disparities
Principal Investigators: Patricia Reid Ponte (DFCI), Laura Hayman (UMass Boston), Donna Berry (DFCI)
Abstract: The Nursing Post-Doctoral Program in Cancer and Health Disparities is designed to address the urgent need for more minority and non-minority nurse researchers prepared to teach at the university level and conduct independent nursing research. Through the U56, we have developed and implemented an Accelerated BSN-to-PhD Program, and a post-master’s certificate R25 training program in oncology (currently under review). The proposed Post-Doctoral Program leverages the resources and strengths of this partnership to develop and implement a nationally recognized post-doctoral research training program, designed to ensure a diverse and highly trained workforce to meet the nation’s need for nursing faculty and researchers committed to understanding and addressing cancer health disparities.
Project 5: Promoting Utilization of Cancer Early Detection Methods among Latinos in Church: A Faith- Based Approach
Principal Investigators: Jennifer Allen (DFCI), Maria Idalí Torres (UMass Boston)
Abstract: This community-based participatory research outreach proposal represents a significant shift in focus, from intervention delivery on an individual level, to a focus on enhancing the capacity of community organizations to activate collective resources to translate available evidence to address their priorities and needs. Our aim is to develop an organizational-level intervention to enable communities to adopt, adapt, implement and sustain evidence-based interventions (EBIs) to address cancer disparities among Latinos.