We are proud to congratulate Dr. Siyuan Zhang, Professor of Cancer Research at the University of Notre Dame and Harper Cancer Research Institute,for being awarded the Breast Cancer
Research Program (BCRP) Breakthrough Award. On behalf of the Department of Defense, Zhang will receive funding towards his project titled, “Targeting Neuronal-Like Metabolism of Metastatic Tumor Cell as a Novel Therapy for Breast Cancer Brain Metastasis.” Zhang is determined to understand the spreading of primary tumor cells to other organs (metastasis). Using brain metastasis as a model, Zhang has noticed that breast primary cells become more neuron-like. He says, “That explains why the cancer drug, which is designed to target the primary tumor, rarely works for the metastasis tumor. It has evolved into a different identity.” His lab is studying the evolution of metastasis to determine if critical changes can be exploited to prevent the tumor from growing.