Jackson Laboratory scientist receives special $2.7M NIH grant for innovative cancer research

Date: Sept. 30, 2010
| Share

Bar Harbor, Maine -- A young Jackson Laboratory scientist has been recognized among the nation's most innovative and promising new investigators. Cancer researcher Chengkai Dai, M.D., Ph.D., is one of this year's New Innovator Award recipients announced today by Dr. Francis S. Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health.

The award provides $2,695,000 over five years for Dai's research. The NIH New Innovator Award program is designed specifically to support the research ideas of unusually creative investigators early in their careers.

Dai joined The Jackson Laboratory at the end of 2008. He studies a family of proteins, called heat shock proteins, that normally protect healthy cells from environmental stress. In cancer, however, the proteins change allegiance and instead help to protect cancer cells, allowing them to grow and divide very rapidly.

"This prestigious award means a lot to me," says Dai. "It will allow me to pursue some highly innovative ideas, which may have profound impacts on our fundamental understanding of cancer biology and on designing future anti-cancer therapies. I feel very honored to be among the very small group of talented young scientists who are receiving this award."

Dr. Collins announced the awards at the start of the Sixth Annual NIH Director's Pioneer Award Symposium today.

The Jackson Laboratory is a nonprofit biomedical research institution based in Bar Harbor, Maine. Its mission is to discover the genetic basis for preventing, treating and curing human diseases, and to enable research and education for the global biomedical community.

# # #

Download a 300-dpi image of Dr. Chengkai Dai (JPEG, 4.1MB)

Contact(s): Joyce Peterson, 207-288-6058

For information on automatic email delivery of news releases (journalists only), please send an email request for details to news@jax.org. Please address other inquiries to pubinfo@jax.org.

Media Relations, Communications Office
The Jackson Laboratory
600 Main Street
Bar Harbor, Maine 04609-1500
Phone: 207-288-6058 (journalists only)
Main Jackson Laboratory phone: 207-288-6000
Fax: 207-288-6076
Email: news@jax.org