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Sandra Turcotte, PhD

Award: KRESCENT New Investigator Award
Institution: Université de Moncton
Year: 2012-2015

Dr. Sandra Turcotte is a new investigator at the Atlantic Cancer Research Institute and l’Université de Moncton. She completed her Ph.D. in biochemistry at l’Université du Québec à Montréal and post-doctoral fellowships at Stanford University and l’Université de Montréal.

Renal cancer is the most lethal of all urological cancers due to the lack of effective systemic therapy for advanced or metastatic Renal Cell Carcinoma (RCC). Inactivation of the von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) tumor suppressor gene occurs in 75% of RCC. Because VHL plays an important role in the early development of RCC, targeting cells where it has been inactivated represents a promising focus for the development of new therapies.

Dr. Turcotte’s research will focus on characterizing VHL function in a cellular process called autophagy to further develop a new type of targeted anticancer therapy that selectively kills VHL-deficient cells, and her findings could lead to the development of a new type of targeted therapy for the treatment of RCC.