Santiago Lima, Ph.D. studies the role of lipids in the development of lung cancer in an effort to minimize tumor resistance to drugs and improve patient outcomes. Left courtesy of Massey Cancer Center. Right courtesy of Amanda Dickinson, Ph.D. and Swim Across America Richmond Open Water Swim.

Santiago Lima, Ph.D., is an assistant professor in the VCU Department of Biology.  He is a teacher-scholar, and teaches a 3-course series in Cancer Biology that covers the fundamentals of cancer and gets students into the lab to conduct research. As a researcher, Lima is interested in understanding the molecular and metabolic changes that occur in normal cells as they are transforming into cancer cells. Specifically Lima is interested in how a specific class of lipids, called glycosphingolipids, change during the development of cancer cells and how these changes might lead to cancers becoming resistant to standard chemotherapies. Further, Lima has strong interest in health disparities research,  and is investigating whether there are molecular differences in tumor cells of various racial populations with the same types of cancer. 

Lima was recently awarded a R21 entitled “ Glycosphinholipid alterations in lung cancer.”  That amounts to $423,000.

Not only does Lima study and teach about cancer he is also an active fundraiser for the Massey Cancer Center.  He recently received an award titled “Rockstar Fundraising Researcher” for raising money and bringing attention to last year’s Swim Across America cancer fundraiser. As a former 5-time member of the Mexican National Swim Team, Mexican National Record Holder, and 12-time Mexican National Champion, it only makes sense that Lima is the captain of Team Massey for Swim Across America Richmond Open Water Swim. This year, the open water swimming event takes place on the upper James River on October 5th, and all of the money raised will again support cancer research at The Massey Cancer Center. Lima is planning to complete the 5-mile swim, and is currently looking for participants to join his team as swimmers, floaters and kayakers.

Categories Awards, Cell Regulation, Cellular and Developmental, Research
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