Wan-Pei Su, a graduate student of Molecular Medicine at National Cheng Kung University (NCKU), southern Taiwan, has received a Graduate/Postdoctoral Travel Award from the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB) to attend the annual conference on Experimental Biology (EB) in San Diego in April 2012.
NCKU President Hwung-Hweng Hwung congratulated Su and her advisor, Dr. Nan-Shan Chang, director of NCKU Institute of Molecular Medicine, for winning international recognition. "It is expected that the efforts put into the research will benefit the future clinical application," said Hwung.
Prof. Chang has been devoted to the discovery and development of the tumor suppressor WW domain-containing oxidoreductase (designated WWOX, FOR or WOX1). Zfra is one of the proteins which interact with WOX1. Su has carried on Chang's research findings to anti-cancer mechanism.
Su is awarded for her research paper titled "Self-polymerizing Zfra peptides elicit immune response for targeting cancer" where the function of Zfra in anti-cancer therapy is investigated.
Zfra was first cloned by Dr. Chang's group at the Guthrie Research Institute, Sayre, PA, USA in 2005, according to Su, and the role of Zfra in tumor necrosis factor signal pathway has aroused attention since then.
The most remarkable function of Zfra is its prevention of growth of skin cancer basal cell carcinoma, melanoma, prostate cancer, breast cancer and so on. "It is foreseeable that Zfra can be used as a vaccine against all kinds of cancers," said Su.
Of all the 195 award recipients this year, mainly from North America and only 13 from Asia, 2 awardees come from Taiwan.
National Cheng Kung University