This Program Project will be formally aligned under the Linus Pauling Institute (LPI) at Oregon State University (OSU), Housing of the Program Project under LPI provides a pre-existing organizational structure for administration of the grant, and for promoting scientific interaction with other research centers on campus with allied research interests. The latter include the NIEHS-funded Environmental Health Sciences Center (EHSC) and the Center for Genome Research and Biocomputing (CGRB). This alignment also provides direct access to the highest levels of university administration. Roderick Dashwood, the Principal Investigator of the Program Project, currently serves as Chief of the Cancer Chemoprotection Program in LPI, Leader of the EHSC Environmental Mutagenesis &Carcinogenesis research core, and Professor of Environmental &Molecular Toxicology. Dr. Dashwood's oversight of Core B will be carried out with assistance from Barbara McVicar, senior office specialist and Assistant to the Director and Cathy Abney, accounts manager. Core B will provide liaison with NIH in all application and reporting responsibilities, including compiling and submission of all reports and non-competing renewals required by NIH, and obtaining approvals of human subjects and vertebrate animals. This core will directly administer the budgets for all three Projects, and for the Epigenetic/Translational Biomarkers (ETB) Core, coordinate regularly scheduled Project meetings, and organize all activities associated with the annual External Advisory Committee (EAC) meetings. The EAC consists of Dr. Johanna W. Lampe, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Dr. William Helferich, University of Illinois, and Dr. Paul Limburg, Mayo Clinic. This committee of distinguished scientists has already functioned to guide the investigators in the preparation of this competing continuation, with reviews and helpful suggestions pertaining to specific Project elements, according to their areas of expertise. In the future, EAC members will assess research progress, advise the PI and Project Leaders on how the Program Project may best respond to advances in the field of cancer chemoprevention, and discuss with OSU research administration the university commitments that may be necessary to facilitate such responses.
In addition to genetic changes affecting DNA sequence information, we now realize that cancer development involves so-called epigenetic events, which represent a major new research priority area at NIH. One aspect of intense current interest concerns the histone (protein) modifications that silence genes in cancer and development. We find that dietary agents can reverse such modifications, thereby re-expressing tumor suppressor genes and triggering cancer cells to arrest their growth and/or commit suicide via apoptosis.
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