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Cathy Anderson, a graduate student in the UNC Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, has been awarded the NCI Predoctoral to Postdoctoral Fellow Transition Award (F99/K00). Anderson was selected as the UNC nominee last fall and has now been awarded this prestigious fellowship that provides funding for two years of graduate work and four years of postdoctoral training.

Anderson is in the lab of Robert McGinty, MD, PhD, assistant professor in the Division of Chemical Biology and Medicinal Chemistry at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy with a joint appointment in the UNC Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics. She is studying a histone methyltransferase called Dot1L that is a cancer dependency for a subset of leukemias. As such, Dot1L has emerged as a promising drug target. However, the molecular mechanisms that control Dot1L function were unclear. Last year, Anderson solved a cryo-EM structure of Dot1L bound to a nucleosome to gain insight into how Dot1L functions at atomic resolution. She is now using the molecular details from her structure to explore the function of Dot1L in leukemia.

Anderson joined the McGinty lab following completion of her bachelor’s degree in chemistry at UNC-Chapel Hill. She is a member of the Molecular and Cellular Biophysics training program. For the graduate phase of the fellowship, Anderson will be co-mentored by McGinty and Greg Wang, PhD, associate professor of biochemistry and biophysics. McGinty and Wang are members of the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center.

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