Science Market Update

Columbia Study Identifies Drug Targets for Cancer

Posted by Jennifer Nieuwkerk on Tue, Jul 30, 2013

A new study by Columbia University researchers was recently published in the online edition of Nature Biotechnology that pointed out hundreds of potential drug targets that could starve cancerous tumors of their fuel supply or block their process of synthesizing essential building blocks. The study looked into the gene expression data from 22 types of tumors associated with cancer and will hopefully increase the amount of research being done in interfering with cancer metabolism. This particular type of cancer research was popular in the early 20th century and has recently seen a comeback.

“The importance of this new study is its scope,” said Dennis Vitkup, PhD, associate professor of biomedical informatics at Columbia University and the study’s primary investigator. “So far, people have focused mainly on a few genes involved in major metabolic processes. Our study provides a comprehensive, global view of diverse metabolic alterations at the level of gene expression.”

Cancer researchers hoping to find new drug targets will benefit from the study because Dr. Vitkup’s team also found a vast number of differences between normal cells’ and cancer cells’ use of isoenzymes, which may allow researchers to shut down cancer’s fuel and supply lines. According to a Columbia University news article, isoenzymes many times catalyze the same reactions, but they have different kinetic properties. Some isoznzymes grow rapidly, while others grow more slowly. In kidney and liver cancers, an isoenzyme that acts quickly was found to be more common than the slow-acting isoenzymes typical in kidney and liver tissue.

“Our study clearly demonstrates that there are no single and universal changes in cancer metabolism,” said study co-author Matthew Vander Heiden, MD, PhD and assistant professor at MIT. “That means that to understand transformation in cancer metabolism, researchers will need to consider how different tumor types adapt their metabolism to meet their specific needs.”


Columbia University

Columbia University

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons


Columbia University conducts a number of groundbreaking studies in the labs of researchers. Lab suppliers interested in marketing life science solutions and university lab equipment at New York life science marketing events may want to learn more about Columbia University’s NIH and NSF research funding statistics. In 2012, the NIH awarded Columbia University $364 million in research funding. The funding was spread out over a number of life science departments at the university. The top funded department at Columbia University was internal medicine, which received 138 awards totaling $77.1 million from the NIH.

In addition to being awarded $364 million by the NIH, Columbia University also received a great deal of research money from the NSF. The NSF awarded Columbia University $95 million in 2012. The project receiving the most NSF funding in the life sciences concerned climate change education and received $750,000 in research funding.

Given the wealth of funding available at Columbia University, lab suppliers marketing life science solutions and university lab equipment won’t want to miss out on upcoming New York life science marketing events. Biotechnology Calendar, Inc. invites all lab suppliers to network with others in their field at our annual Armory Track and Field Center BioResearch Product Faire™ Event, held adjacent from the Columbia University Medical Center on October 1, 2013. Last year, the Armory Track and Field Center BioResearch Product Faire™ attracted 266 attendees, of which 72 were purchasing agents, professors and post docs, and 43 were lab managers. The visitors represented 19 different research buildings and 48 departments across campus.

Biotechnology Calendar Inc. is a full-service science research marketing and events-planning company that organizes life science marketing events at top research universities across the country. For more information on our Armory Track and Field Center BioResearch Product Faire™ Event, or to view more detailed funding statistics for Columbia University, click on the button below. If you’re interested in marketing your life science solutions and university lab equipment at life science marketing events closer to home, we encourage you to view our 2013 calendar of events.


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Tags: 2014, 2013, Northeast, New York, Columbia University, Columbia, BioResearch Product Faire Event, NY, New York City

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