AUSTIN, TexasThe Sidney Kimmel Foundation for Cancer Research has named Dr. Tanya Paull a 2001 Kimmel Scholar. Paull is an assistant professor in the department of molecular genetics and microbiology in The University of Texas at Austin College of Natural Sciences.
Paull will receive $100,000 a year for two years to continue her research program on the important role DNA repair systems play in limiting factors that ultimately can lead to unregulated growth of cells.
The 31-year-old researcher is working on biochemical analysis of the way cells repair breakage in double strands of DNA, and how the repair mechanism is coordinated with the regulation of the cell cycle. Mutations of the protein complexes on which Paull is focusing have been linked to genetic disorders that cause high rates of malignancy.
The Kimmel Scholar Award Program supports promising young investigators whose work emphasizes basic cancer research, the rapid translation of basic science into potential therapeutic applications and clinical research with innovative treatment strategies. The $3 million annual grant program is in its fifth year, providing awards to 15 recipients in 2001. There have been 54 award winners to date. Sidney Kimmel is founder of the Jones Apparel Group.
In other recent discoveries, Paull and researchers at the Baylor College of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health created a recombinant human BRCA1 protein and discovered that the protein binds directly to DNA. Their findings were published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The BRCA1 gene prevents development of breast and ovarian cancer when acting normally, but mutated versions of the gene are associated with both breast cancer and ovarian cancer.
For more information, contact Dr. Tanya Paull at the UT Austin College of Natural Sciences at (512) 232-7802 or see her Web site: <www.biosci.utexas.edu/mgm/people/faculty/profiles/paull.htm>.
For a photo, see: <www.utexas.edu/admin/opa/news/01newsreleases/nr_200105/cancer2.html>