Dr. Qianben Wang Awarded NCI R01 Grant to Research Revolutionary Approach to Prostate Cancer Treatment

On May 1, 2024, Duke Professor of Pathology and Cell Biology Qianben Wang, PhD, was awarded a five-year, $3.29-million National Cancer Institute (NCI) R01 grant. Wang will use this significant funding to investigate how alternative polyadenylation (APA), a major mechanism of post-transcriptional gene regulation, drives the lethal progression of prostate cancer and how it may be able to be engineered in a clinically meaningful manner.

Using integrated experimental and computational approaches, Wang will identify, characterize, and target upstream APA regulators and downstream APA target genes that drive prostate cancer progression to lethal phases. The study will expand upon the current understanding of gene regulation in prostate cancer by exploring post-transcriptional mechanisms, complementing existing research focused on transcriptional processes.

The prospective clinical implications of this research could revolutionize the current approaches to treatment and provide a foundation for novel APA-focused therapeutic strategies for prostate cancer.

Wei Li, PhD, the Grace B. Bell Endowed Chair and professor of Bioinformatics in the Division of Computational Biomedicine and the Department of Biological Chemistry at the University of California, Irvine, School of Medicine will serve as a multiple principal investigator. He’s a renowned leader in computational biology and epigenetics. 

Duke University School of Medicine Johnston-West Endowed Department Chair of Pathology Jiaoti Huang, MD, PhD, will join forces with Eric Wagner, PhD, professor of Biochemistry and Biophysics at the University of Rochester, and Brant Inman, MD, chair of Urologic Oncology and professor of Urology and Oncology at Western University (London, Canada), the London Health Sciences Center, and the Lawson Health Research Institute will serve as co-investigators on this grant.