Brain metastases (BM) is the most devastating complication of cancer and is associated with terminal stage and high mortality. Lung cancer, breast cancer and melanoma account for most clinical cases of BM. The estimated incidence of BM is between 200,000 and 300,000 people per year with an extremely poor prognosis as 2 year survival rate is merely 8%. Such poor prognosis largely results from the aggressive behaviors and unique features of brain metastatic cancer cells. Therefore, it is of urgent need to develop new therapeutic strategy to eradicate metastatic cancer cells in the brain. Our goal is to turning cancer's brain-specific advantages into brain-specific vulnerabilities. Lysosome is a cellular organelle that is in charge of protein degradation and nutrient supply for cell growth and survival. In BM cancer cells, their lysosomes are highly activated and play important roles in boosting cell survival, growth and migration. Thus, it is very attractive to target BM cancer cell lysosomes and trigger selective cancer cell lethality to ultimately eradicate cancer cells. Our previous work demonstrate that lysosomal TRP channel plays a pivotal role in lysosome function and associates with cell well-being. Recently, we have developed novel small molecules, ML-SAs, that specifically target lysosomal TRP channel with high potency. In our pre-clinical test, we found that ML-SAs robustly induce BM cancer cell lethality while sparing normal cells. Therefore, we believe that elucidate the mechanism for ML-SAs' cytotoxicity equals new treatment opportunities for BM cancer patients, and will pave a new way for precision medicine aimed at specific cancer cell elimination.
Please Note This Project Is Now Closed.
The Michigan Institute for Clinical & Health Research (MICHR) seeks innovative translational research projects that will ultimately have significant potential to improve patient and community health outcomes. The goal of this funding is to support interdisciplinary research teams in generating sufficient preliminary data to pursue future extramural funding and publication opportunities. We welcome research proposed at any stage of translation, including:
- preclinical research that aims to connect the basic science of disease with human medicine
- clinical research to better understand a disease in humans
- clinical implementation, involving the adoption of interventions demonstrated useful in the research environment into routine clinical care, and
- the study of health outcomes at the population level to determine the effects of diseases and efforts to prevent, diagnose and treat them
MICHR will fund up to five Classic Cubes ($60K) and 13 Mini Cubes ($15K).
No unit or faculty contribution is required.
Project Submission Process
Interested faculty members please provide the following information to be considered for funding:
Click the Comments tab above, and post a project idea in the Mcubed website. Please do not exceed two paragraphs in length. Provide basic details about the proposed research.
Comment should also include:
- Three cube collaborators - faculty names and units. The team must include 3 faculty from at least 2 units, and 1 faculty member on each team must be from Medicine.
- Grant amount requested ($15K or $60K)
- Studies proposing cell or animal models should provide reasoning of how the research will lead to immediate next step studies in humans.
Comments will be accepted until May 15, 2019.
Note: Project duration is one year from the transfer of funds.
For additional questions about this funding opportunity, please contact Beth LaPensee at email@example.com.
For eligibility requirements, use of funds, and details on the application process, please see: