Prestigious grant awarded to Providence researcher

Cancer is an incredibly complex enemy. The same therapy might work for one patient but not for another. To help finish cancer, we need to better understand the basic biology of the disease, including how cancer can evade our immune system and the role of specific genes.

We are honored to announce that Providence researcher Michael Gough, Ph.D., member of the Integrated Therapies Laboratory at Earle A. Chiles Research Institute, a division of Providence Cancer Institute of Oregon, has been awarded an R21 grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) – the largest public funder of biomedical research in the world. Receiving an NIH grant is a testament to the caliber of research being conducted at our Institute.

R21 grants provide funding for high impact, exploratory projects that have the potential to substantially advance biomedical research. For example, we know very little about certain genes and how they may predict cancer or be used to help inform the best treatment strategy.

Dr. Gough is collaborating with Marka Crittenden, M.D., Ph.D., to research the Dnase1l3 gene, which, until now, has never been studied as a target for cancer therapy. Dr. Gough and his team have compared tumors that responded to treatment with tumors that did not respond to the same type of treatment. They found that the presence of Dnase1l3 may shut off the immune system’s natural response to cancer and lower the chance that treatment is successful.

As we gain a better understanding of this gene, we may be able to develop new therapies and help more patients with stubborn tumors.

About Earle A. Chiles Research Institute

We are on a mission to cure cancer and create a healthier world. As the research arm of Providence Cancer Institute in Oregon, we are a Providence Center of Excellence for precision immuno-oncology and cellular therapy. 

Our main area of research is cancer immunotherapy – a specialized field of study focused on treatments that boost the immune system against cancer. Thanks to advancements in genomic sequencing, we are bringing together the power of immunotherapy and personalized medicine to accelerate leading-edge research and groundbreaking discoveries for patients with cancer. Learn more.

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