Cancer doesn't discriminate.

American Lung Association Lung Cancer Discovery Award recipient for "Novel Approach to Block Lung Cancer Development in Smokers," Dr. Nancy McNamara, is an associate professor at the University of California, San Francisco. She started her work in lung cancer research with a look at how cigarette smoke affects airways. Dr. McNamara uses laboratory modeling to mimic how early exposure to smoke causes healthy cells to become tumor cells in the lung.

Despite Dr. McNamara's extensive work in cancer research, and her team's commitment to solving the challenges of early detection of lung cancer, her main area of study is in ocular cell biology, where she's discovered considerable overlap with her studies of the lung. 

McNamara's work is looking at how cells lining the surface of the eye and airway are altered by noxious stimuli (i.e., an actual, or potential, tissue damaging event).  Her primary interest is how immune responses are initiated in response to cellular stress, and how these stress responses provoke disease states, such as tumor formation and/or chronic inflammation. "We're looking at responses to either some sort of stress or an environmental influence."

Ultimately, Dr. McNamara plans to publish and present her research findings at a major medical meeting.  These efforts are critical to advancing our understanding of lung cancer development and to the discovery of novel and effective treatments to fight this terrible disease.

This is the kind of important research your donations will continue to support. This November, please donate and help fund lifesaving cancer research in recognition of Lung Cancer Awareness Month at

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