UAMS Cancer Researcher Awarded $542K Grant

UAMS Cancer Researcher Awarded $542K Grant
Brian Walker

Brian Walker, Ph.D., with the Myeloma Center at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences has received a $542,486, three-year grant from the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society to look at changes in the DNA sequence that affects the development and advancement of multiple myeloma.

Multiple myeloma is a cancer of plasma cells in the blood.

The society’s Transitional Research Program award is titled "The Impact of Non-Coding Somatic Mutations on the Prognosis and Progression of Multiple Myeloma."

Walker was one of 33 out of 266 applicants to receive funding. 

The grant will fund the expansion of research into mutations in the non-coding regions of the genome. It follows a previous study of the coding regions. 

The new study will look specifically at the regions found to be mutated in the 100 patients who participated in the previous study. The second part of the project is adding MGUS and smoldering myeloma patients to see if the mutations are also associated with disease progression.

In addition, being awarded the grant could help UAMS gain the National Cancer Institute Designation it is pursuing. Gaining that designation would have an estimated $72 million annual economic impact on the state, UAMS would have access to more federal research grant funding and clinical trials.