Hauck Awarded Duke Clinical and Translation Science Award

Hauck Awarded Duke Clinical and Translation Science Award

J. Spencer Hauck, PhD, a postdoctoral associate in the Jiaoti Huang Laboratory, was awarded the Duke Clinical and Translation Science Award (CTSA) Postdoctoral TL1.

Dr. Hauck joined the Huang Laboratory in September of 2019 after he completed his Ph.D. in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology at The Ohio State University. His graduate research focused on the function of a nuclear hormone receptor in acute and chronically injured skeletal muscle. Dr. Hauck uses his background in hormonal regulation to investigate the role of androgens in prostate cancer. However, his primary research focus is investigating cellular metabolism to identify novel therapeutic targets for advanced stage prostate cancer patients for whom there are currently limited effective treatments.

Dr. Hauck will use this award to investigate how Heat Shock Factor 1 (HSF1) promotes prostate cancer progression, the relationship of HSF1 and the Transsulfuration Pathway a key regulator of antioxidant and cellular energy production, and novel therapeutic inhibitors to HSF1 and the Transsulfuration Pathway in preclinical mouse models. This study is highly relevant to prostate cancer patients because tissue microarray analysis showed that nuclear HSF1 levels increase with prostate cancer progression and are at the highest level in the highly aggressive histological variant of prostate cancer known as small cell neuroendocrine carcinoma. The CTSA will fund Dr. Hauck’s research for two years, and provide funds for travel and tuition for the MOLCAN 819 Cancer as a Disease course, which is taught by Duke Medical faculty and focuses on cancer from the perspective of the patient, doctor, and scientist.