Xin Lu Wins CTSI Young Investigator Award

Professor Xin Lu, the John M. and Mary Jo Boler Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences, has been awarded a Young Investigator Award from the Indiana Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute (CTSI). This award provides salary support and seed funding for the period of one year, as well as access to additional pilot funding opportunities. Lu received the award to support his work on targeting of metastatic prostate cancer using novel antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs). These innovative biopharmaceuticals combine a potent “payload”, consisting of a toxic drug, with a highly selective antibody that targets the payload to tumor cells where it is internalized and processed to release the drug. Lu will test these ADCs using transgenic mouse models of prostate cancer, which he developed during his post-doctoral fellowship at MD Anderson Cancer Center, that express mutational profiles similar to those found in human disease. The Mentor on Lu’s project, Professor Sharon Stack, Director of the Harper Cancer Research Institute, commented “This is an important proof-of-concept study to evaluate the pre-clinical efficacy of the ADC concept in metastatic prostate cancer. It is also interesting to note that, if successful, the ADC approach could also be applied to other cancers including breast, ovarian, pancreas, and colon. Receipt of the CTSI Young Investigator Award goes beyond enabling Xin to conduct this research; it integrates him into a community of scholars dedicated to translating basic science insight into clinical practice. I look forward to working with him as the project progresses.” Additional Harper faculty who are previous recipients of a CTSI Young Investigator Award include Professors Jennifer Prosperi and Laurie Littlepage.