The Chemical and Structural Biology (CSB) Program of the Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center (CFCCC) seeks to bring UC Irvine's considerable strengths in synthetic chemistry, structural biology, analytical chemistry and related areas to bear on anti-cancer research. These science areas tend to be pursued as single laboratory efforts. Thus, a major thrust of the CSB program is building collaborations and bridges between CSB researchers and cancer biologists and clinicians. In addition to the traditional methods of developing collaborations (e.g., topical retreats and symposia), the CSB leadership runs a very successful molecular matchmaking service, bringing together synthetic chemists, structural biologists and biologists with interesting small molecules. Notable successes of the matchmaking service include a new class of anti-nutrient transporter compounds with exciting anti-cancer activities in vitro and in animal models. Through its activities, the CFCCC directly contributes to the success of the anti-cancer research pursued by CSB members. For example, neuronal nitric oxide synthase emerged as a target for melanoma, and connections forged by the CFCCC led quickly to experiments with highly specific nNOS inhibitors. Similarly, success in the area of analytical chemistry connecting biological recognitio with electronics led to connections with prostate and bladder cancer physicians to guide experiments leading to a clinical trial. The CFCCC also provides pilot project funding, which help initiate studies between a synthetic chemist and biologist leading to new types of anti-breast cancer compounds. The CSB leadership also helps to expand the research of its members into cancer-related areas; for example, researchers with a promising new experimental technique for mapping protein-protein interactions with proteomics MS were introduced to different potential collaborators opening new doors and avenues of research. Thus, the CSB program leverages existing efforts and strengths to amplify the quantity and quality of anti-cancer research taking place at UC Irvine. Membership: 22 Members from 8 Departments Funding: $459,979 NCI (Totals); $4,141,394 Other Peer-Reviewed (Totals) Publications: 158 Publications, 16% Inter-programmatic; 6% Intra-programmatic.
Overall - Narrative The Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center (CFCCC) of the University of California, Irvine represents a statewide hub of excellence in discovery science for cancer, including fundamental mechanisms of cancer development, novel modes of detection and imaging, new anti-cancer drugs and devices, and cancer susceptibility, screening, and survivorship. Through its research programs and supporting resources, the CFCCC translates these discoveries through the pipeline into clinical treatments and interventions that are directed specifically towards reducing the impact of cancer on the multiethnic population of Orange County and surrounding areas. Through participation and leadership in national groups, the CFCCC advances this new knowledge onto a wider stage to change clinical cancer practice across the country.
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