2012 Gewirtz Memorial Scholarship Winner: Christopher J. Cheng, PhD

Christopher J. Cheng, PhD

Yale University

Biography: Christopher Cheng received his Ph.D. in Molecular Biophysics & Biochemistry from Yale University in 2011 researching nanoscale delivery systems for cancer-targeted gene therapy. His research focused on the development of a new class of surface-enhanced polymer nanoparticles to deliver gene-regulatory agents (e.g. anti-miRs, siRNA, and splicing regulators) to affect the onset and progression of cancer. This work culminated in the development of the first nanoscale delivery system to inhibit an oncogenic microRNA (oncomiR) using an in vivo model of lymphoma. He is currently working as a postdoctoral fellow with Drs. Frank Slack, Don Engelman, and Mark Saltzman at Yale. Dr. Cheng’s overarching research goals are rooted in both basic and therapeutic investigation of microRNAs in cancer. In particular, he is interested in understanding the molecular basis for how certain cancers can become addicted to the overexpression of oncomiRs. He is also continuing the development of efficient, targeted technologies to exploit microRNAs as therapeutic targets.

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