Philips Institute investigator wins Presidential Research Quest Fund award

Media contact: Nan Johnson, director of communications, nljohnson@vcu.edu, (804) 828-0324

Yue Sun

Yue Sun, Ph.D.

Yue Sun, Ph.D., a principal investigator at the Philips Institute for Oral Health Research, has been named a 2019 VCU Presidential Research Quest Fund awardee for his phosphoinositide research.

“This year’s diverse group of 18 faculty represent every VCU academic unit and include assistant, associate and full professors,” says P. Srirama Rao, Ph.D., VCU vice president for research and innovation. “The fund supports faculty research projects across the university and its institutions that specifically align with the goals and key strategies presented in VCU’s Quest 2025: Together We Transform strategic plan. The total amount awarded from the fund of $500,000 will be matched, 60 to 40, by faculty departments and schools.”

Projects range from testing new theories and interventions addressing critical health problems such as breast cancer, leukemia and Alzheimer’s disease, as well as societal issues including suicide prevention, housing stability and internet security, Rao explains.

The research interests of the Sun Lab are abnormal signaling transduction in cancer development and targeted therapies to treat cancer as well as the role of phosphoinositide signaling and receptor tyrosine kinases signaling in oral cancer.

A decade of tracking previous awardees, Rao says, shows that they are likely to reach new levels of success. Past awards have collectively generated nearly $50,000,000 in outside funding, a return on investment of nearly 7 to 1. This is in addition to more than 200 published works and a dozen patent applications. “Supporting early-stage projects with great promise is just one tangible way by which VCU promotes a vibrant and diverse research environment.”

About the School

Founded in 1893, the VCU School of Dentistry educates practitioners to meet the oral health care needs of the communities they serve. The school provides opportunities for selected qualified individuals to study dentistry, advanced dental specialties, and dental hygiene in accordance with the standards established by the Commission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association. Consistent with the mission of Virginia Commonwealth University, the School of Dentistry’s programs are guided by the education of highly qualified dental professionals, research that advances the understanding of oral health, disease and effective treatment, service to the community and improved oral and health general health of our patients and the general population.

To learn more, please visit dentistry.vcu.edu.

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