Deciphering the biology of cancerous tumors is the passion of Sriram Venneti, MD, PhD, the latest recipient of a Taubman Institute research grant.
Dr. Venneti, a neuropathologist and assistant professor at Michigan Medicine, has been appointed as the Julia Reyes Taubman Emerging Scholar. This scholarship was created in memory of Ms. Taubman — wife of Robert Taubman and daughter-in-law of Taubman Institute founder, A. Alfred Taubman — who passed away earlier this year
Childhood brain tumors – which show distinct genetic alterations compared to their adult counterparts – are a special focus of Dr. Venneti’s lab. He and his colleagues are working to understand how these genetic alterations make cancer cells use fuels such as glucose and amino acids and how this makes these tumors aggressive.
“Our goal is to develop treatments based on this knowledge, to effectively cure these lethal brain tumors in children,” he said. “Receiving the Emerging Scholar award is an honor, and very humbling.”
The Emerging Scholars program at the Taubman Institute was developed to support early-career physician-scientists, who often leave the research arena due to lack of funding. Grants of $200,000 over five years enable these “best and brightest” U-M medical school faculty to operate their laboratories and establish credentials for further grants. So far, the institute has accelerated the careers of more than 20 Emerging Scholars in fields ranging from cancer to depression to vision preservation.
“Dr. Venneti is a caring physician and exemplary scientist,” said Charles Burant, MD, PhD, director of the Taubman Institute. “I’ve had the opportunity to interact with him since his arrival at Michigan. He has all the attributes of someone who is going to make a huge difference in the laboratory. I’m really happy to provide support so he can make a difference in people’s lives.”