JOHNSON CITY (June 5, 2018) – A faculty member in the East Tennessee State University Quillen College of Medicine is leading lymphoma research at the university through a $444,000 federal grant.
Dr. Shunbin Ning, an assistant professor in the Department of Internal Medicine, has been awarded an Academic Research Enhancement Award from the National Institutes of Health. Through the three-year grant, Ning is exploring how a certain protein is regulated and the role it plays in the latency of the Epstein-Bar Virus (EBV), which is mostly known to cause mononucleosis and remarkably contributes to AIDS-related deaths.
Ning believes the particular protein – LIM domain-containing protein 1 (LIMD1), as it is known – may play a significant role in the transformation of normal cells into cancer cells, specifically lymphoma. He hopes the research project will provide a better understanding of the underlying mechanisms of the regulation of the LIMD1 protein and its role in the development of cancer.
“This could identify LIMD1 as a potential therapeutic target for these malignancies,” Ning noted. “It is also an excellent training opportunity for students in the field of biomedical research.”
Also known as an R-15 grant, student involvement is a hallmark of the competitive funding program. Three students are working alongside Ning to conduct the research. Co-investigators conducting research as part of the project include Dr. Ling Wang, an assistant professor at the Department of Internal Medicine, Dr. Jonathan Moorman, a professor of medicine at Quillen and section chief for infectious diseases at the Quillen Veterans Affairs Medical Center, and Dr. John Yao, also a professor of medicine at ETSU and director of the Hepatology Program at the VA.
All four faculty members are members of ETSU’s Center of Excellence in Inflammation, Infectious Disease and Immunity.