About Kalpana Kannan
Investigating the biological significance of novel recurrent chimeric RNAs in prostate cancer
Chimeric RNAs are the fused products of two different genes. Recent studies have shown that chimeric RNAs are present in normal cells and their presence allows the limited number of human genes to encode a substantially larger number of RNAs and proteins, forming an additional layer of cellular complexity.
Dr. Kalpana Kannan and her team recently identified 27 novel, highly recurrent chimeric RNAs in prostate cancer. Their results showed that these chimeric RNAs occurred at a higher frequency in cancer compared to normal cells. These preliminary findings show that chimeric RNAs form a potentially unique class of molecular alterations in prostate cancer. During the three year funding cycle of this 2012 PCF Young Investigator Award, Dr. Kannan proposes to study the biological significance and potential clinical applications of these recurrent chimeric RNAs in prostate cancer. She will study the differences in the occurrence/quantities of these molecules in normal prostate tissue, localized prostate cancer and in metastatic prostate cancer. Dr. Kannan will also evaluate the significance of these chimeric RNAs in prostate cancer diagnosis and prognosis. If validated, these chimeric RNAs will serve as useful biomarkers for the identification of prostate cancer subtypes. New therapeutic targets for advanced prostate cancer may also emerge from this work.
The 2012 Leon and Debra Black – PCF Young Investigator
Kalpana Kannan, PhD
Baylor College of Medicine
Laising Yen, PhD and Michael Ittman, MD, PhD