Lung Cancer Initiative Awards $25,000 Innovation Grant to Dr. Salma Azam to target KRAS Protein in Cancer Cells

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Lung Cancer Initiative Awards $25,000 Innovation Grant
to Dr. Salma Azam to target KRAS Protein in Cancer Cells

Raleigh, NC, October 13, 2020 – The Lung Cancer Initiative of North Carolina (LCI) has awarded The Vicky Amidon Innovation in Lung Cancer Research Award to Dr. Salma Azam, EnFuego Therapeutics Inc. Dr. Azam will receive a $25,000 grant to support their innovative work aimed at stopping KRAS proteins from being made in cancer cells.

Dr. Azam’s grant will support their project “EGFR-Targeted, Mutant Specific Inhibitors of KRAS G12V-Driven Lung Cancer.” Through their research, Dr. Azam is developing a new drug with the ability to stop mutated KRAS proteins from being made in cancer cells, which would result in cancer cell death. This new drug has been designed to be taken up by cancer cells and no other tissue, which would reduce the chances of causing negative side effects in patients. In this project, mouse models will be used to test the drugs’ ability to enter tumors, reduce the amount of KRAS, and ultimately decrease disease burden.

“We are trying to find one of the 'holy grails' of cancer - how to stop the notoriously undruggable mutant KRAS, which has been known for decades to be one of the most important drivers of lung cancer," said Dr. Azam. "We are very grateful to be recipients of the LCI award, which has brought us one step closer to that answer!"

The Vicky Amidon Innovation in Lung Cancer Research Award is named in the memory of Vicky Amidon a beloved wife, mother, and friend, who lost her battle with lung cancer at the age of 44 and whose memory is furthered through her family’s advocacy and support for the advancement of lung cancer research and awareness. The award recognizes and supports researchers who are developing innovative lung cancer projects that will improve the lives of those at risk of or living with lung cancer.

Annually, lung cancer claims more lives in North Carolina and the US than breast, colorectal and prostate cancers combined. Since 2008, LCI has funded more than $2.26 million in lung cancer research through programs like the research fellowship grant, health disparities in lung cancer grant in partnership with the V Foundation for Cancer Research, career development award and innovation grant.

About Lung Cancer Initiative of North Carolina

As the state’s leading nonprofit organization supporting lung cancer research and education, Lung Cancer Initiative of North Carolina specializes in connecting patients, survivors and loved ones with the medical and research community. The organization’s mission is to save lives and provide support to those affected by lung cancer through research, awareness, education and access programs across North Carolina. For more information, please visit https://www.LungCancerInitiativeNC.org.

Contact: 

For more information, contact Paige Humble, Executive Director of Lung Cancer Initiative of North Carolina, at PHumble@LungCancerInitiativeNC.org or (919) 784-0410

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