Vanderbilt University researchers have discovered a cleft in a chromosome-binding protein that may hold the key to stopping most cancers in their tracks. The protein, WDR5, is a “docking station” for a family of transcription factors called MYC that is overexpressed in the majority of malignancies and which contributes to an estimated 100,000 cancer-related deaths.
Among the research institutions NCI funds across the United States, it currently designates 68 as Cancer Centers. Largely based in research universities, these facilities are home to many of the NCI-supported scientists who conduct a wide range of intense, laboratory research into cancer’s origins and development. The Cancer Centers Program also focuses on trans-disciplinary research, including population science and clinical research. The centers’ research results are often at the forefront of studies in the cancer field.