Lindsey Ingerman James, Ph.D., with the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy is interested in epigenetic abnormalities that lead to cancer.
For example, misregulation of the NSD2 gene has been implicated in numerous cancers including multiple myeloma and acute lymphoblastic leukemia. NSD2 was further found to be among the most frequently mutated genes across 1,000 pediatric cancer genomes, representing 21 different pediatric cancer subtypes.
Over the course of the next five years, James plans to apply medicinal chemistry, chemical biology, and cancer biology approaches to discover first-in-class NSD2 bifunctional degraders in order to better understand NSD2 cancer biology, to assess NSD2 preclinical target validity and as potential therapeutic agents.
To support her work, the National Institutes of Health’s National Cancer Institute recently awarded James with a grant of $1,684,222 over the course of five years.
“Our ultimate goal is to treat human cancers resulting from overexpression of a specific gene, NSD2, by developing molecules that have the unique ability to facilitate the degradation of NSD2. As no such NSD2-targeted therapeutics exist, it is our hope that this would help to address an unmet medical need,” James said.