Yoon receives young investigator award to study metastatic neuroblastoma

Karina_Photo_siteKarina Yoon, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology and associate scientist in the Cancer Cell Biology Program of the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center, was recently awarded a $40,000 Young Investigator Grant from the Cancer Center’s Young Supporters Board. The award, supported by the board’s fundraising events, was established to help young scientists, who have limited funding opportunities, to jumpstart their research. With this grant, specifically looking at a protein called ICAM-2, Yoon hopes to understand the biological processes that control the spread of neuroblastoma. Neuroblastoma is one of the most common cancers in children, usually occurring in infants and children under the age of 5; the survival rate of in children with high-risk metastatic neuroblastoma is only 20 to 40 percent. Although current treatments can stabilize the disease temporarily, nearly all the children who relapse develop additional tumors and then do not respond to treatment. Yoon’s long-range goal is to design therapies that induce long-lasting rather than transient clinical responses.