South Carolina researcher to present at National NIH Meeting

IDeA MeetingThe National Institutes of Health (NIH) National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) is hosting a National NIGMS IDeA Program Virtual Meeting this Tuesday (September 22) - with public viewing beginning at 3:45 pm. Because the biennial National IDeA Symposium for Biomedical Research Excellence (NISBRE) was canceled this year due to COVID-19, NIGMS is combining the presentation element of NISBRE with the annual Institutional Development Awards (IDeA) Program Officers Meeting. The NIGMS IDeA Program is comprised of Centers of Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE), IDeA Networks of Biomedical Research Excellence (INBRE), IDeA-Clinical and Translational Research (IDeA-CTR) and IDeA States Pediatric Clinical Trials Network (ISPCTN) Programs.

A call abstracts was released in early August for both COVID-19 and non-COVID research. Said Dr. Krishan Arora, NIH NIGMS Branch Chief of Networks and Development Programs, “We received more than 175 high-quality abstracts from the IDeA programs for the upcoming virtual joint IDeA PI meeting. It was truly a challenge to make the final selections for oral presentations.”

From the 175 abstracts submitted, 18 were chosen for five-minute presentations – nine COVID, nine non-COVID. Of the nine non-COVID abstracts, one will be a presentation by a South Carolina IDeA researcher. Dr. Ozgur Sahin from the COBRE Center for Targeted Therapeutics (CTT) located at the University of South Carolina will be presenting, Overcoming chemotherapy resistance in triple negative breast cancer via targeting lysyl oxidase (LOX).

“Dr. Sahin is conducting groundbreaking research on the treatment of triple-negative breast cancer, the most aggressive and the least curable form of breast cancer,” explained Dr. Igor Roninson, COBRE CTT Director. “His discovery of a novel mechanism of drug resistance in these cancers, made through the support of the COBRE, was recently published in one of the most selective and prestigious scientific journals (Nature Communications). Dr. Sahin’s findings pave the way to find new drugs for the treatment of triple-negative breast cancers that do not respond to conventional therapies, and he is making excellent progress towards the development of such novel drugs.”

Sahin added, “Triple-negative breast cancer patients heavily rely on chemotherapy for treatment compared to other breast cancer subtypes. However, a major portion of patients develop resistance to chemotherapy. As we showed in our study, chemotherapy-treated TNBC patients having high LOX protein expression have worse survival. By targeting LOX in pre-clinical models, we could potentiate chemo response in the first-line setting or overcome chemoresistance in later stages. We are currently developing novel inhibitors of LOX that could enhance chemotherapy response leading to better survival rates in the future. All these studies have been possible with the support of an NIH NIGMS-funded COBRE Target PI grant to our lab.”

The public is invited to view the research presentations. COVID research will be presented between 3:45 and 4:30 pm; non-COVID research (including Dr. Sahin's presentation) will be presented starting at 4:30 pm.

Learn more about the Meeting and access Zoom information at

Learn more about the COBRE Center for Targeted Therapeutics at

Learn more about NIH NIGMS-funded research in South Carolina at

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