Dudley named American Cancer Society Research Scholar

Andrew Dudley, PhD, assistant professor of cell biology and physiology, was recently named an American Cancer Society Research Scholar. His funded research proposal will investigate “Mechanisms of tumor escape from anti-angiogenic therapy.”

Dudley named American Cancer Society Research Scholar click to enlarge Andrew Dudley, PhD

Anti-angiogenic therapies (drugs that attack tumor-associated blood vessels) hold great promise for inhibiting tumor growth and metastasis. Many of these drugs are designed to block VEGF, a growth factor necessary for survival of the endothelial cells that form new tumor blood vessels. However, these drugs have not proven overly successful in clinical trials. Tumors may respond to treatment initially, but they quickly rebound and re-vascularize.

Dr. Dudley’s research focuses on how tumors make new blood vessels and how abnormalities in the tumor vasculature contribute to tumor development. His team has recently uncovered a new population of tumor cells that masquerade as endothelial cells and participate in the formation of VEGF-independent vascular-like structures in tumors. They will investigate how these tumor cells contribute to tumor growth and evasion from anti-angiogenic therapies.

Dr. Dudley is an assistant professor of cell biology and physiology and a member of the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center and the McAllister Heart Institute. He was an American Cancer Society postdoctoral fellow with Michael Klagsbrun at Harvard Medical School and was awarded a Howard Temin Pathways to Independence award from the National Cancer Institute (NIH) in 2009. Since joining UNC’s faculty, he has received a Junior Faculty Development Award from the School of Medicine and an Innovation Award from the Lineberger Cancer Center’s University Cancer Research Fund.