NMSU kinesiology professor receives cancer research grant

LAS CRUCES, New Mexico (KTSM) – Associate Professor of Kinesiology at NMSU Sang-Rok Lee received a grant from the Partnership for the Advancement of Cancer Research (PACR) to conduct research on a project focused on cancer.

Lee and his research partner, David Hockenbery, received funding between the NMSU and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center for their project titled “Exercise Countermeasure Strategies to Counteract Cancer Cachexia and Starve Tumors. The project will be funded until August 31, 2023.

Lee and Hockenbery’s research will focus on cancer-associated cachexia, which is a condition characterized by severe muscle wasting despite nutritional support in patients with metastatic cancers. In addition, the research aims to examine the role that exercise can play as a preventive measure for cancer-induced cachexia and tumor growth.

About 80% of patients with metastatic cancer suffer from cachexia, which often makes them too weak to tolerate standard doses of cancer therapy and makes them susceptible to death from heart and respiratory failure, NMSU officials said. Current treatments to reduce cachexia have not led to positive clinical results.

“As Director at NMSU of U54 PACR, I am very happy to welcome Dr Sang-Rok Lee and Dr David Hockenbery into the partnership. Dr. Lee’s participation in the U54 PACR is also exciting as it expands the participation of more NMSU researchers who conduct research in biomedical areas that impact health disparities in our New State. -Mexico.

Graciela U. Unguez, Professor at NMSU Regents and Co-Director of Maximizing Access to Research Careers

Unguez and Lee share research interests that focus on skeletal muscle function and plasticity using animal model systems of vertebrae that can be translated to increase knowledge and potential solutions to human muscle disorders and diseases. .

Lee and Hockenbery’s research aims to characterize the potential benefits of different exercise regimens for minimizing both tumor growth and muscle wasting in mouse models of cancer and may have important implications for the development of new solutions in patients. cancer patients.

Lee credits the success of her grant to her participation in the National Institutes of Health-funded iMERS, or Interactive Mentoring to Enhance Research Skill, conference in 2019.

“The NIH Interactive Grant Writing Workshop is very helpful for researchers from institutions serving minorities to improve their grant proposal. I have learned strategies from experts who have completed NIH-funded research projects for a pathway to developing successful grant proposals. Attending the workshop allowed me to gain in-depth knowledge of NIH funding mechanisms and greatly improved my ability to obtain grants at the senior level.

Sang-Rok Lee, Associate Professor of Kinesiology at New Mexico State University

To view a current list of organizations from NMSU and Fred Hutch that have received funding, visit https://cancer.nmsu.edu/about/team.html.

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