The Hospital for Sick Kids (SickKids)
Early Career Development Grant

Congratulations to Tae-Hee Kim, PhD! His research proposal "Transcriptional regulation of intestinal secretory cell differentiation through Atoh1 and Tcf4" will address the need to better understand the cells from which intestinal neuroendocrine (carcinoid) tumors originate to help in the development of targeted therapies.
On behalf of the North American Neuroendocrine Tumor Society (NANETS) it is a pleasure to announce his selection as the recipient of one of our 2011 Early Career Development grants in the amount of $50,000. Following is Dr. Kim’s summary of his project:

"The treatment and cure of neuroendocrine tumors require an accurate and deep understanding of the molecular processes that govern normal endocrine cell behavior. These cells originate in intestinal crypt stem cells and my research program focuses on studying the molecular mechanisms of secretory (endocrine) cell differentiation. In this proposal, I emphasize the roles of two important proteins, Atoh1 and Tcf4. These proteins are transcription factors, i.e., proteins that control hundreds of other genes, and I propose to study how these proteins do so. My work will, therefore, help advance understanding of fundamental mechanisms and therapeutic targets in neuroendocrine tumors.”
Due to the current shortage of young scientists focused on the clinical investigation of neuroendocrine tumors, we created this grant to encourage physicians, at the end of their fellowship or beginning of their faculty appointment, to pursue clinical or translational research in this field. Dr. Kim’s application was well written and his research plan has the capability of producing results that would make significant contributions to NET research and lead to a productive career in neuroendocrine tumors."

In addition, we want to acknowledge Novartis Oncology for funding this grant. Their continued support and commitment to assist NANETS in fulfilling our mission is critical to the success of the NANETS organization. This collaborative partnership and their assistance in funding research will continue to make a positive impact in improving the lives of people with carcinoid/NET cancers.