Henning Willers, MD and David Miyamoto, MD, PhD

On Monday, 5/21, Henning Willers, MD and David Miyamoto, MD, PhD were recognized with a $150,000 grant, to support their research proposal on investigating mechanisms of DNA repair after proton radiation, at the 70th annual Aid for Cancer Research (ACR) luncheon. The ACR is a group of 15 women from the greater Boston Area who raise funds to support vital research programs and medical grants.

The main goal of Drs. Willer’s and Miyamoto’s research project is to establish a differential effect of proton radiation on the production and removal of chromosomal DNA breaks compared to standard photon radiation. By using innovative next-generation DNA sequencing and pharmacologic studies in pre-clinical tumor models, investigators seek to advance the idea that in some tumors protons have a much higher biological effectiveness than previously assumed. In the long run, if we can identify tumors with increased susceptibility to proton radiation due to altered DNA repair, we may be able to biologically optimize treatments or decrease the physical dose, for example in children with cancers, thereby improving treatment outcomes.

Congratulations to both Drs. Willers and Miyamoto on this well-deserved grant funding!