Dr. Jatinder Lamba secures UF Research Opportunity Seed Fund Award to develop a relapse response score for AML patients using CRISPR/Cas9 screening

A majority of patients with acute myeloid leukemia, or AML, will relapse after achieving complete remission. Predicting why this happens and identifying the patients most at risk of relapse is the goal of a newly funded research project led by Jatinder Lamba, Ph.D., M.Sc., an associate professor of pharmacotherapy and translational research. The UF Office of Research awarded Lamba more than $85,000 in funding through a UF Research Opportunity Seed Fund Award to develop a relapse response score for AML patients.

Jatinder LambaThe response score will be established by integrating CRISPR/cas9 screening of AML cell lines for cytarabine sensitivity with genomics and clinical outcome data in AML patients. The dual approach increases the likelihood of developing a robust clinically relevant score that will be predictive of treatment outcomes and identifying higher relapse-risk patients.

“There is an urgent need to pinpoint the genetic characteristics of an individual’s cancer that can help predict clinical outcomes and guide the use of appropriate therapies,” Lamba said. “Establishing a response score for AML patients offers a new tool in understanding and treating this deadly disease using novel approaches.”

UF Research Opportunity Seed Fund Awards are presented to interdisciplinary, faculty-initiated research projects with potential for extramural support. Lamba’s research proposal, in collaboration with Christopher Vulpe, M.D., Ph.D., a professor in the UF College of Veterinary Medicine, was one of 16 projects funded out of 51 applications received in 2018.