New Tabor Young Investigator Award winner

Said Izreig Said Izreig received his Tabor award at the AMPK: Biological Action and Therapeutic Perspective conference organized by the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology in late September in Italy. John Kyriakis, a JBC associate editor, issued the award.

Said Izreig, a graduate student at McGill University in Canada, received the Journal of Biological Chemistry/Herb Tabor Young Investigator Award for his work on how cancer cells reprogram metabolic steps to their advantage. He received a plaque and a $1,500 prize at a meeting this fall in Barga, Italy.

Metabolic reprogramming is one of the hallmarks in cancer-cell proliferation. Said, who works in Russell Jones’ lab at McGill, studies metabolic changes promoted by an oncogene, c-Myc, implicated in human cancer. It is known that c-Myc manipulates the metabolic program that increases nutrient consumption and enhances biosynthetic activity of cancer cells, but the molecular mechanism underlying reprogramming is unclear. 

Said discovered that c-Myc regulates a family of micro-RNAs that is required for c-Myc’s metabolic effects in B-lymphoma cells. These miRNAs repress the tumor suppressor and master metabolic regulator gene LKB1, leading to a hyperactive metabolism, which results in aggressive tumorigenesis.

The Tabor award is conferred at symposia and meetings throughout the year to students, postdoctoral researchers and faculty members who’ve not yet received tenure.

Alok Upadhyay Alok Upadhyay is a postdoctoral associate at Fox Chase Cancer Center. His major research area is Notch signaling regulation during cell fate decisions and neural crest stem cell development. Follow him on Twitter.