Science Notification: Project Haystack by Ken Crawford

I’m working on several exciting projects. Some of these are late-stage projects focused on publishing our results.  One manuscript, MEK inhibitor in rhabdomyosarcoma, has been submitted; this project was a collaboration with Genentech/Roche.  And two manuscripts are being finalized that resulted from the Genomic Endotypes in Alveolar Rhabdomyosarcoma (GEAR) project.  In the lab my focus is Project Haystack. This project is directed at developing novel drugs for the treatment of rhabdomyosarcoma.  We are currently at the Hit-Expansion phase. This entails identifying chemical “Hits” from a primary screen; in our case, the primary screen was 640,000 compounds.  Then, an “Expansion” library of compounds that are structurally-similar to the hit is procured for analysis. Our expansion library is 120 compounds large, and we are busy screening a multitude of cell cultures.

In addition to all of this, I have the pleasure of working with summer intern Eli Waehrer.  Together, Eli and I are bringing an avian-based protein expression system into the institute.  This innovation will allow us to improve our quail-egg xenograft model.


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