Adam Smith, PhD

Adam Smith, PhD

Texas Tech University

Research Project:
Resolving the Protein-level Effects of Novel Oncogenic Variants of EGFR

Grant Awarded:

  • Lung Cancer Discovery Award

Research Topics:

  • basic biologic mechanisms
  • biomarkers

Research Disease:

  • lung cancer

Targeting oncogenic driver mutations, which are genetic mutations responsible for the initiation and maintenance of cancer, have revolutionized the treatment landscape for patients with lung cancer. The growth of next-generation sequencing-based biomarker testing, which looks for tumor markers that can provide information about cancer, has led to the discovery of recurrent cancer-causing variants. But for many of these variants the effect on protein structure and function is unknown (“variants of uncertain significance,” or VUS). This means there is not enough information to know if these variants are involved in cancer. These new data have exposed a critical unmet need to determine the effect of the VUSs and how they can be targeted therapeutically. We are focusing on lung cancer mutations in the EGFR gene. We will learn how EGFR VUS alter the interaction between EGFR and other membrane protein receptors. The insights generated will inspire new clinical strategies to treat lung cancer patients.

Page last updated: October 3, 2023

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