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Dana Koomoa-Lange, with U H Hilo’s College of Pharmacy, received a five-year National Cancer Institute grant (photo courtesy of the College of Pharmacy)

Dana-Lynn T. Koomoa-Lange, an assistant professor in the College of Pharmacy at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo has received the five-year NCI Mentored Research Scientist Development Award to Promote Diversity (K01). The $675,000 award was given by the National Cancer Institute. This is a first for UH Hilo, and the only award of this type from the NCI given to a Native Hawaiian in the UH System.

Koomoa-Lange’s research, entitled “MYCN-induced calcium and magnesium signaling regulates neuroblastoma progression,” will concentrate on finding an effective treatment strategy for advanced stage neuroblastoma, an extra-cranial pediatric cancer.

“This study may identify new biomarkers for advanced stage NB, and reveal novel targets for the development of more effective chemotherapeutic drugs,” Koomoa-Lange stated in her proposal.

“I am very pleased Dana will have the opportunity to focus on treatment strategies for this dreadful disease that accounts for about 15 percent of all childhood cancer deaths each year,” said André S. Bachmann, chair of the College of Pharmacy’s Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences. “She is a brilliant scientist. We all hope her work will make a difference.”

“This is a highly competitive and prestigious award, one which very few in the entire University of Hawaiʻi System will ever have a chance to receive. Dana is a very talented scientist who is destined to be one of our stars,” said College of Pharmacy Dean John Pezzuto.

—Adapted from a UH Hilo news release

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