Tomoo Iwakuma, MD, PhD
Director, Translational Oncology Research Laboratory; Professor of Pediatrics, University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine; Research Professor of Cancer Biology, University of Kansas School of MedicineFull Biography
Tomoo Iwakuma, MD, PhD, Hematology/Oncology/BMT, received a $15,000 NIH Research Conference Grant (R13) from the National Cancer Institute - National Institutes of Health.
Dr. Iwakuma used the funding to co-organize the 10th International MDM2 Workshop which took place Oct. 15-18, 2023, in Tokyo, Japan.
MDM2 and its homolog MDM4 (also known as MDMX) are the two most important negative regulators of the tumor suppressor p53 by acting as an E3 ubiquitin ligase complex to promote p53 degradation and physically binding to inhibit the p53’s transcriptional functions. These proteins are overexpressed in about 30 percent of human cancers. Overexpression of MDM2/MDM4 not only inhibits p53 functions but also shows p53-independent oncogenic activities. Inhibitors against MDM2 and MDM4 have been developed to reactivate wild-type p53 in tumors, some of which are currently in clinical trials.
The MDM2 Workshop has been held alternately in the U.S. and Europe every two to three years to bring together the p53/MDM2 field, present the latest research, facilitate collaboration, and exchange reagents. The meeting has traditionally attracted the participation of clinician scientists and pharmaceutical industry investigators, contributing to anticancer drug discovery and benefiting public health.
Dr. Iwakuma was one of three organizers for the event.
“Organization of the timely 10th International MDM2 Workshop at the National Cancer Center Research Institute, Tokyo, Japan, by myself and my co-organizers will significantly energize cancer research and promote scientific interactions and idea exchanges in the field,” Dr. Iwakuma said prior to the conference. “Since several drugs that inhibit MDM2 oncoprotein are in clinical trials, basic and translational research focusing on this area has substantial scientific and clinical relevance.”
The purpose of the NIH Research Conference Grant (R13) is to support high quality conferences that are relevant to the public health and to the scientific mission of the participating Institutes and Centers.
The contents are those of the investigator and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by NIH, or the U.S. Government.