Terry Fox Grants for The Spatial Metabolome Hubble Project

The Spatial Metabolome Hubble Project, which is led by Dr. David Goodlett, director of the University of Victoria’s Genome BC Proteomics Centre & co-director of The Metabolomics Innovation Centre (TMIC), and Dr. Kyle Duncan, a Vancouver Island University chemistry professor, is receiving $2.4 million from the Terry Fox Research Institute and the Lotte & John Hecht Memorial Foundation. Over the next four years, the grant will fund three research projects as well as the establishment of the Spatial Metabolomics Hub. This first hub in Victoria, BC, employs cutting-edge imaging technologies to investigate how cellular metabolism changes across different areas of the tumour tissues. The goal is to determine why certain immune cells are more or less active in particular parts of a tumour. Some previous studies about Cancer epidemiology, biomarkers & prevention and MALDI Imaging by the same group and McGill node are available here.

The study program is focused on addressing three primary cancer types, namely Sarcoma, Ovarian Cancer, and Pancreatic Cancer, under the guidance of the prominent researcher, Dr. Julian Lum. The three main projects are under the leadership of distinct principal investigators. Dr. Shoukat Dedhar’s research is centered on the comprehensive investigation of the hostile environment encompassing pancreatic cancer cells. The second initiative focused on ovarian cancer is led by Drs. Julian Lum and Robert Rottapel. Dr. Poul Sorensen and Dr. Seth Parker are investigating the mechanisms by which tumour cells adapt to metabolic stress in distinct cancer subtypes, such as pancreatic cancer and Ewing sarcoma. Their research aims to elucidate how these adaptive responses hinder the efficacy of CAR-T cell therapy.

The Spatial Metabolome Hubble Project to Decipher Tumour Driven Immunosuppression (Metabohub), is under the funding program of The Terry Fox New Frontiers Program Project Grants. It is a long‐standing program involving the best cancer researchers in Canada. These programs support Canadian research teams exploring new frontiers in cancer research (i.e., breakthrough and transformative biomedical, clinical and translational research which may form the basis for innovative cancer prevention, diagnosis and/or treatment).

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