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Portrait of Yin-Yuan Mo, Ph.D.

Environmental photo of Yin-Yuan Mo, Ph.D.

October 25, 2011

SIU Med School Cancer Researcher Awarded Federal Grants to Study Gene Regulation

A research scientist at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine in Springfield has been awarded two federal grants from the National Cancer Institute, a division of the National Institutes of Health.  These grants will fund the study microRNAs or master gene regulators in cancer. They have a combined budget of $2,094,508.

Yin-Yuan Mo, Ph.D., associate professor of medical microbiology, immunology and cell biology, is the principal investigator for the projects.  He also is a member of the Simmons Cancer Institute at SIU.

A five-year grant will investigate the role that Akt-associated microRNAs play in the cell growth pathway in cancer.  The research may lead to the development of therapeutic targets as well as drugs to treat the disease.  The total budget for the grant is $1,490,682.

A three-year grant will develop a selection system to identify microRNA interactions.  The study will provide a simple and powerful research tool for microRNA target validation and identification.  The total budget for the grant is $603,826.

Mo’s research has been funded for seven years by NIH, the U.S. Department of Defense and private industry and totals $4.8 million.

Mo joined the SIU faculty in 2003.  He completed a postdoctoral fellowship in microbiology and earned his doctoral degree at Washington State University (1994, 1991).  Mo earned his bachelor’s degree at Zhejiang University in China (1982).