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Portrait of Dr. Yin-Yuan Mo, Ph.D.
Dr. Mo in his laboratory
Portrait of Aya Kobayashi, Ph.D.

January 19, 2011

SIU Med School Receives Three Federal Grants

Two research scientists at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine in Springfield have been awarded three grants by the Department of Defense U.S. Army Medical Research to study breast and prostate cancer.  The grants total $338,833.      

Yin-Yuan Mo, Ph.D., associate professor of medical microbiology, immunology and cell biology and member of the Simmons Cancer Institute at SIU, was awarded a one-year grant to investigate a new mechanism that can modify small nucleic acids called micro RNAs.  Because of their importance in tumor formation, micro RNAs may be useful targets in the treatment of breast cancer.   The total budget for his project is $109,125. 

Aya Kobayashi, Ph.D., postdoctoral fellow of medical microbiology, immunology and cell biology at SIU, is the principal investigator for two projects.  A two-year grant was awarded to study dormancy and recurrence in prostate cancer.   The goal of the project is to develop a therapeutic method to keep cancer in a dormant state.  The total budget for the project is $120,710. 

A one-year grant will study tumor dormancy and recurrence in breast cancer by looking at a tumor associated macrophage or TAM, which is an inflammatory responding cell.  The project has a total budget of $108,998.  The goal of the research is to identify a potential therapeutic approach for the disease.  Kobayashi is studying with Kounosuke Watabe, Ph.D., professor of medical microbiology, immunology and cell biology at SIU and a member of the Simmons Cancer Institute at SIU.

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 at Zhejiang University in China (1982). 

Kobayashi came to SIU in 2008.  She completed a research fellowship at Kyoto University in Japan (2007).   Kobayashi earned her doctoral, master’s and bachelor’s degrees from Kyoto University (2007, 2004, 2002).