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CTSA Program Mentoring Paves Way for Brain Cancer Therapy

Cell biologist Shawn Hingtgen, Ph.D., in his lab
Shawn Hingtgen, Ph.D., sits in front of a fluorescent microscope that is used to examine stem cells in his laboratory. Hingtgen, a former CTSA Program KL2 scholar at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, is developing personalized tumor-homing stem cell therapies for cancer.

Cell biologist Shawn Hingtgen, Ph.D., is convinced that stem cells can effectively treat brain cancer. Using the support he received through the mentored career development program offered by NCATS' Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSA) Program, he has collaborated with neurosurgeons, oncologists, stem cell experts, drug development specialists and others to create a potential therapy for glioblastoma multiforme, a deadly type of brain cancer.

Hingtgen, an assistant professor in the Eshelman School of Pharmacy at the University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill, previously was an NCATS KL2 Mentored Clinical Research Scholar at the North Carolina Translational and Clinical Sciences (NC TraCS) Institute. Among other things, this award supports mentored career development for investigators who have recently completed professional training and are early in their research careers.

"The multidisciplinary nature of [the] NC TraCS KL2 program enables junior faculty to work with experts in many different fields to solve problems and provide guidance in the process of translating basic science knowledge to clinical medicine," said Kim Boggess, M.D., UNC professor of obstetrics and gynecology and co-director of the NC TraCS KL2 program.

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