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Dave Lands Doris Duke Clinical Scientist Development Award for Leukemia Work

October 19, 2007

Utpal Daveby Dagny Stuart

Utpal Davé, M.D., assistant professor of Medicine and Cancer Biology, has been chosen to receive a Doris Duke Clinical Scientist Development Award to study the role of the HTLV-1 retrovirus in Adult T-cell leukemia, one of the few malignancies caused by a retrovirus.

“These are unique viruses that can insert into the host cell’s genome and can turn genes on and off inappropriately,” said Davé.

“We’ve been studying these types of viruses in other species — mainly mouse models — but whether they can insertionally mutate genes in human disease is an open question, and that’s what we propose to study.”

The Doris Duke Clinical Scientist Development Awards are designed to prepare and support new investigators as they begin their careers as independent clinical researchers. Recipients receive $135,000 per year for three years.

“It’s obviously a big honor to receive one of these grants,” said Davé. “The grant landscape is so competitive you know there is probably work that needs to be done but is going unfunded. I’m just very fortunate to have made it through that vetting process.”