PCMM | Highlights

January 4, 2017

Dr. Sadeem Ahmad was awarded CRI Post-doctoral Fellowship

Congratulations to Sadeem Ahmad, who has been awarded a post-doctoral fellowship from the Cancer Research Institute (CRI).

Sadeem will investigate the mechanistic basis of "self" vs "non-self" discrimination by the innate immune receptor MDA5. Loss of this discrimination has not only been implicated in immune disorders like Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE), but also finds immense potential in cancer immunotherapy through MDA5-mediated activation of the type I interferon pathway. Therefore, a deeper understanding of the molecular basis for the aberrant "self" recognition by MDA5 would have a significant therapeutic implication for both auto-inflammatory diseases and cancers.

August 16, 2016

Dr. Sadeem Ahmad was awarded Medal for Young Scientists by the Indian National Science Academy

The Medal for Young Scientist is awarded annually by the Indian National Science Academy to young scientists of extraordinary promise and creativity who made notable research contributions in Science and Technology. Dr. Ahmad, a postdoctoral fellow in the Hur lab, received this award for his graduate work at the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology, Hyderabad (India) where he elucidated mechanism of D-amino acid uncoupling from tRNA- a process that ensures amino acid homochirality during protein synthesis.

May 21, 2015

Dr. Sun Hur received a prestigious Investigators in the Pathogenesis of Infectious Disease award from the Burroughs Wellcome Fund. 

During this 5-year award Dr. Hur will examine the mechanisms by which the protein displacement activity of RIG-I and MDA5 exert signaling-independent antiviral functions.

The Burroughs Wellcome Fund is an independent private foundation dedicated to advancing the biomedical sciences by supporting research and other scientific and educational activities.

March 3, 2015

Sun Hur was awarded the 2015 Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise in Biomedical Science

Sun Hur Ph.D was awarded the 2015 Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise in Biomedical Science. The Vilcek Prizes for Creative Promise were established in 2009 to encourage and support young immigrants who have already demonstrated exceptional achievements, and who often face significant challenges early in their careers.

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April 4, 2014

Drawing a ring around antiviral immunity

By Tom Ulrich

If you follow cancer biology, then you’ve probably heard of ubiquitin before. Ubiquitin tags a cell’s damaged or used proteins and guides them to a cellular machine called the proteasome, which breaks them down and recycles their amino acids. Proteasome-blocking drugs like Velcade® that go after that recycling pathway in cancer cells have been very successful at treating two blood cancers—multiple myeloma and mantle cell lymphoma—and may hold promise for other cancers as well.

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January 18, 2013

A picture is worth a thousand words for understating innate immunity

In a  paper in Cell, Sun Hur, Ph.D., and her group spotlight one of our dsRNA pattern recognizers, a protein called MDA5.

By Tom Ulrich

Our immune system has immense powers of observation.  It needs to in order to fend off the millions of bacteria, viruses, fungi, you name it, that we get exposed to every day.

Sun Hur and her colleagues are not talking about antibodies and T cells-parts of the immune system's adaptive arm, which is fine-tuned to recognize a specific virus or bacterium.  Rather, they are talking about pattern recognition proteins - biological sensors capable of recognizing features and structures that only bacteria or viruses have.  These make up the immune system's innate arm, which essentially primes the body to attack anything that looks remotely like it doesn't belong.

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June 17, 2010

Sun Hur named 2010 Pew Scholar in the Biomedical Sciences to study the “Mechanism of self vs. non-self RNA discrimination by RIG-I”.

On June 17, 2010 The Pew Charitable Trusts named Sun Hur, Ph.D., as a 2010 Pew Scholar in the Biomedical Sciences. As a Pew Scholar, Dr. Hur will receive $240,000 of funding over four years and gain inclusion into a select community of scientists that includes three Nobel Prize winners, three MacArthur Fellows and two recipients of the Albert Lasker Medical Research Award. Others previously selected as Pew Scholars from the Program in Cellular and Molecular Medicine include Drs. Judy Lieberman and Michael Carroll.