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LMU professor leading new research team to find a cure for pediatric cancer

The research aims to help understand the origins of rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS) and find better ways to treat it.
Published: Feb. 4, 2021 at 5:39 PM EST|Updated: Feb. 4, 2021 at 7:01 PM EST
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Adam Gromley, PhD, Director of Research and an Associate Professor of Molecular/Cellular Biology at Lincoln Memorial University-DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine (LMU-DCOM) is leading a team of students to find a cure for childhood cancer.

His research aims to help understand the origins of rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS) and find better ways to treat it.

RMS is the most common soft tissue cancer in children, with approximately two-thirds of cases diagnosed in children under the age of 10.

RMS is caused by the uncontrolled cell division of skeletal muscle cells called myoblasts; however, the molecular factors that contribute to the development of this disease are not completely understood.

“We have to do the research in order to find the cure. It starts the beginning with the research, understanding what happens in the cell in the normal cell and what causes that cell from becoming abnormal and how to stop that, preventing it,” said Dr. Gromley.

His research aims to identify these molecular factors, specifically focusing on a part of the cell called the centrosome. Gromley has used the gene-editing tool CRISPR/Cas9 to disrupt specific proteins in the centrosome of cultured RMS cells to determine their roles in the development of the disease.

Gromley was awarded tens of thousands of dollars from The Butterfly Fund of East Tennessee Foundation to continue his research. He says it could be years until his work is complete.

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