Mohamed Hassanein, PhD, Research Instructor in the Division of Allergy, Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center, was awarded a LUNGevity Career Development Award in 2012. Though he is still forging his career as a scientist, he has made solid progress in his studies to develop an early detection test for lung cancer. Through his impactful work, Dr. Hassanein has demonstrated the ability to make progress in the field of lung cancer.
He is focused on improving our understanding of lung cancer at the molecular level in order to improve patient care. By studying tissue samples from stage I lung cancer patients, Dr. Hassanein’s team has identified 164 proteins that are only found in the lung cancer patients and not in the control group of people without lung cancer. Dr. Hassanein is studying these proteins closely and working to use them as biomarkers in the early detection of lung cancer.
This award will support his continued research progress and his growth as a scientist focused on lung cancer solutions. In addition to the financial investment, the award requires that Dr. Hassanein participates in a structured mentoring program at his institution and becomes an ex officio member of LUNGevity’s Scientific Advisory Board for the duration of his award.
This LUNGevity grant allows Dr. Hassanein to continue developing a blood test to help physicians identify early-stage lung cancer so that patients have an increased chance of survival. Dr. Hassanein is not attempting to directly test for these biomarker proteins. Instead, he is developing a method of testing the patients’ blood for its own antibodies to these biomarker proteins.
By detecting these antibodies, quantifying the amount of these antibodies and then assessing the accuracy of the test when diagnosing lung cancer, Dr. Hassanein is working toward his ultimate goals of creating a blood test for the diagnosis of early-stage lung cancer and having a lifelong career as a lung cancer researcher.