May 26, 2022

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Anders Sejr Hansen awarded prestigious Pew-Stewart Grant for Cancer Research | MIT News

Anders Sejr Hansen, assistant professor of organic engineering at MIT, has been named a Pew-Stewart Scholar for Most cancers Research for 2021. The Pew-Stewart Scholars Plan for Cancer Study is a nationwide initiative designed to assistance promising early-vocation researchers whose investigation will accelerate discovery and progress progress towards a overcome for most cancers.

The Hansen Lab will examine how genetic aspects, acknowledged as enhancers, command the expression of genes in cancer. Notably, enhancers can be very significantly absent from the genes they control. For instance, the enhancers that regulate c-Myc, a gene usually expressed in high levels in most cancers, are amplified in lung and endometrial cancers. Nonetheless, it is not perfectly recognized how owning much more copies of the enhancer drives the uptick in c-Myc expression.

Employing a combination of one-molecule and super-resolution reside-mobile imaging solutions and gene-editing instruments, the lab will take a look at how lengthy-range DNA loops are shaped to encourage functional interactions involving enhancers and their goal genes and how that drives their gene expression. This function will present visible and real-time affirmation on how enhancers connect with faraway genes and ultimately identify new therapeutic ways to handle cancers driven by the overexpression of c-Myc.

“We are thrilled to obtain this reward and honored to come to be a component of the Pew-Stewart Students in Cancer Research Program” claims Hansen. “With the aid of the Pew-Stewart Plan, we will develop new super-resolution microscopy strategies to observe how enhancers communicate with oncogenes inside of living cells at unparalleled spatiotemporal precision. Ultimately, we hope to use this new system to recognize the molecular mechanisms, and to detect molecular Achilles’ heels that we can target therapeutically in cancer”

Hansen joined MIT as an assistant professor in the Office of Organic Engineering in early 2020. He attained his undergraduate and master’s degrees in chemistry at Oxford University in 2010 and obtained his PhD in chemistry and chemical biology from Harvard College in 2015. He labored with Erin O’Shea, implementing methods biology methods to recognize how cells can encode and transmit info in the dynamics of transcription variable activation. For his postdoc at the College of California at Berkeley with Robert Tjian and Xavier Darzacq, Anders produced new imaging ways for dissecting the dynamics of 3D genome business with single-molecule resolution in living cells. 

In line with The Alexander and Margaret Stewart Trust’s mission to commit in impressive, cutting-edge most cancers study that might accelerate and advance progress toward a remedy for cancer, programs are from nominees conducting most cancers study. The Pew-Stewart Students Software for Most cancers Investigation is distinctive from the Pew Scholars Plan. It follows a various but parallel established of guidelines and methods for nominating an applicant whose study is linked to most cancers. The award delivers $300,000 in versatile help — $75,000 per calendar year for four several years.

Before this yr, Anders was also awarded a grant from The G. Harold and Leila Y. Mathers Charitable Foundation to understand ground breaking translational exploration.