News from the Hodges lab

Katerina's paper published as a Breakthrough Article

Katerina's paper, published online on November 23 2023, was published in print today in Nucleic Acids Research. Her paper focuses on targeting SWI/SNF in neuroblastoma and other cancers, and shows that G1 phase is the critical time when addicted cancer cells need SWI/SNF activity. She shows that SWI/SNF inhibitors synergize with retinoic acid to potentiate differentiation therapies. Congratulations to Katka and to all the authors! See our publications page for more details.

Two papers from the lab published this week

Two of the lab's papers were published this week. Courtney Chambers' work on targeting SWI/SNF in AML was published today online at Cancer Research, and Katerina Cermakova's review of the TFIIS N-terminal domain (TND) was published in Biochemical Society Transactions. Congratulations to all the authors! See the publications for more details.

Courtney Chambers receives Deborah K. Martin award!

Courtney Chambers was selected to receive the Deborah K. Martin award. Only a single current student throughout all of BCM is selected for this prize yearly. It is sometimes referred to as the "best graduate student" award. Congratulations to Courtney, very well earned!

Graduate student Courtney Chambers to present her work at ASH

Courtney Chambers was selected to present her graduate work about SWI/SNF inhibition in AML at the American Society for Hematology annual meeting in New Orleans! Be sure to see her presentation, where she will reveal important on- and off-tumor effects of SWI/SNF inhibition in vivo.

Katerina presents her Science paper at the Cold Spring Harbor Epigenetics meeting

Katerina Cermakova presented findings from her recent Science paper today at the Cold Spring Harbor Epigenetics meeting. Congratulations Katerina on this prestigious speaking opportunity!

New grant: Courtney Chambers awarded an F31 NRSA

Courtney Chambers was awarded a prestigious F31 National Research Service Award by the NIAID. This prestigious fellowship will fund Courtney's studies of SWI/SNF chromatin remodeling complex. Way to go, Courtney!

New grant: NCI R01 for neuroblastoma project

Today our R01 proposal for the role of SWI/SNF in neuroblastoma was funded by the NCI. This grant will support our projects on SWI/SNF's roles in neuroblastoma for several years. We're grateful for the support of the NCI.

New paper: Disordered protein regulates transcription elongation.

Our new paper on disordered protein in transcription in collaboration with Vaclav Veverka and team is online today in Science! We report the discovery of an unstructured protein interaction module that coordinates transcription elongation via TFIIS N-terminal domains. Check it out!

New collaborative paper: Single-cell inflammatory response to silicone implants.

Our collaborative paper with the lab of Bob Langer and team is online today in Nature Biomedical Engineering! In this exciting paper, we analyze single-cell RNA-seq datasets of immune cells following implantation of silicone prosthetics. We found that the surface roughness of implants has a profound effect on inflammatory signaling in immune cells. Our results suggest that implant surface roughness may play an important role in the development of breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL).

Research Award from The Mark Foundation

Thank you to The Mark Foundation for Cancer Research for their support of our laboratory. Dr. Hodges has been awarded the Accelerating Scientific Platforms and Innovative Research (ASPIRE) Award from the Mark Foundation. This one-year $230,000 grant was awarded based on a collaboration with Dr. Nathaniel Hathaway of the University of North Carolina Eshelman School of Pharmacy. This award funds the Hodges and Hathaway labs' efforts to develop a new chemical-biological approach to restore activity to transcription factors that depend on SWI/SNF in cancers where SWI/SNF is lost.

R35 award funded by NIGMS

Thank you to the NIGMS for their support of our research program. Today the lab's R35 award was funded! This flexible five-year award funds outstanding investigators to pursue their research program. Our award will help us reveal how regulation of SWI/SNF complexes contributes to development and human disease.

Eric Smith successfully defends his Ph.D.

Congratulations to Eric Smith for successfully defending his Ph.D. with flying colors! Eric will soon be moving on to a Senior Scientist position at Marker Therapeutics.

Eric Smith receives Dacso Award for Excellence in Research

Congratulations to Eric Smith on receiving the Dacso Award for Excellence in Research. This award is presented annually to support one medical, graduate or M.D./Ph.D. student in a molecular and cellular biology laboratory. Dr. Clifford Dasco, a molecular and cellular biology professor, created this award to honor his parents, Dr. Magda Rona and Dr. Michael Dacso (Prof. of Community Medicine at Mount Sinai School of Medicine). Drs. Dacso, Hodges and O'Malley were on-hand to present the award.

Courtney Chambers receives funding

Congratulations to Courtney, who was selected for the BCM T32 training program in Translational Biology. Well done Courtney!

Eric Smith receives funding

Congratulations to Eric, who is the first Hodges lab trainee to receive competitive funding! Eric was selected for the Gulf Coast Consortia/Keck Center's T32 training program in Precision Environmental Health (TPEHS). Well done Eric!

Adjunct faculty of Bioengineering at Rice

Courtney was appointed as an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Bioengineering at Rice University. We're looking forward to more interactions with the superb students and faculty in the Bioengineering department!

V Scholar Award from the V Foundation

Our research proposal was selected for funding by the V Foundation! This high-profile two-year award will enable us to make important discoveries to tackle high-risk neuroblastoma. We are grateful for the support of the V Foundation.

Updated guidelines for clinical management of RMC

Congratulations to Pavlos and our other colleagues for our recent paper updating the consensus guidelines for clinical management of renal medullary carcinoma (RMC). These important guidelines are intended to improve clinical management of RMC, a deadly kidney cancer defined in part by loss of SMARCB1. Criteria for ongoing and upcoming RMC clinical trials are also presented.

New chemical biology review published

Congratulations to Katerina for her beautifully illustrated review of new chemical biology tools for chromatin. Degraders, dimerizers, a comprehensive table of chromatin inhibitors (and more)!

Two new collaborative papers published

This month, we published two papers in PNAS with collaborators from Georgetown University, UCSD, the IOCB in Prague, and KU Leuven in Belgium. The first paper reveals how interaction partners of LEDGF/p75 (PSIP1, an H3K36me3 reader) are regulated by kinases. The second reveals how cAMP binding regulates the activity of protein kinase A (PKA).

Gabrielle's Angel Foundation Medical Research Award

Our research proposal was selected for funding by the Gabrielle's Angel Foundation for Cancer Research. This high-profile, three-year award will enable us to make important discoveries to tackle an aggressive childhood leukemia.

New Hodges lab member

Salma Mahmoud joined our lab as a postdoc. Salma earned her PhD with Tom Owen-Hughes at Wellcome Trust (University of Dundee), and joins us following a postdoc with Coralie Poizat. Welcome, Salma!

Our lab joins the BCM CIBR Center

Our lab is the newest member of the BCM Computational and Integrative Biomedical Research (CIBR) Center! We are very excited to join the productive group of computational biologists at Baylor College of Medicine.

New Hodges lab member

Eric Smith from the MCB graduate program joined our lab as a graduate student. Welcome, Eric!

Our lab joins the MD Anderson Center for Cancer Epigenetics

Our lab is the newest member of the MD Anderson Center for Cancer Epigenetics!

Our paper online at Nature Structural & Molecular Biology

Our paper on dominant-negative Brg1 mutations is now online at Nature Structural & Molecular Biology. Congratulations to all of the authors!

Katerina presents at EMBL Heidelberg

Katerina presented her work as a short talk on short linear motifs (SLiMs) after Roger Kornberg's keynote at the EMBO/EMBL Meeting, "The Nucleosome: From Atoms to Genomes." Congratulations, Katka!

CPRIT Faculty Recruitment Award

Courtney was awarded a $2 million faculty recruitment award from the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT). This recruitment award supports very promising emerging investigators pursuing first faculty appointment, who are prepared to make outstanding contributions to the field of cancer research.

Holly and Gerald N. Wogan Award

Courtney was awarded the Holly and Gerald N. Wogan Award for Scientific Research Excellence at the 31st Aspen Cancer Conference. This award was based on his work presented at the conference as a Fellow of the Aspen Cancer Conference.

Charles B. Carrington Memorial Prize

Courtney was awarded the Charles B. Carrington Memorial Prize at the Department of Pathology annual research retreat, Stanford University School of Medicine. These awards come with a generous cash prize, supported by the Charles B. Carrington Memorial Fund and the Cheryl Whitlock Pathology Prize.

Courtney presents to the 2015 AACR meeting as a NextGen Star

Courtney was selected to present at the 2015 annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) as an AACR NextGen Star. In addition to travel support, these awards provide an exciting opportunity to increase the visibility of early-career scientists at the AACR Annual Meeting and to support the professional development and advancement of those selected to speak.

"Best Talk" award at Stanford Cancer Biology Conference

Courtney was selected for the "Best Talk" award at the 37th Annual Stanford Cancer Biology Conference, for his talk entitled "Chromatin accessibility underlies the tumor suppression role of BAF (mSWI/SNF) complexes in human cancer."

K99/R00 award from the National Cancer Institute

Courtney's K99/R00 (Pathway to Independence) grant proposal, entitled "Dynamic effects of cancer mutations on the mammalian SWI/SNF ATPase Brg," was selected to be funded by the National Cancer Institute. The purpose of the NIH K99/R00 program is to increase and maintain a strong cohort of new and talented, NIH-supported, independent investigators. This grant will fund Courtney's transition to an independent researcher.