Grant supports continuing study at Karmanos: Obesity and endometrial cancer

Research at the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute into how obesity affects endometrial cancer is underway with new funding. The DMC Foundation has awarded Michael Wilson, Ph.D., a $75,000 grant for the study “Obesity impacts the endometrial cancer tumor microenvironment.” His team’s research focuses on immune cell populations associated with endometrial tumors and how obesity impacts both the abundance and the characteristics of these cell types.

“Obesity is a risk factor for many types of cancer, but endometrial cancer is unique in that the majority of patients are obese, so we want to understand the reasons for this,” said Dr. Wilson, a member of the Molecular Therapeutics (MT) Research Program at Karmanos and an assistant professor in the Department of Oncology at Wayne State University (WSU) School of Medicine.

“This grant allows our research team to test endometrial cancer tumors further to identify unique factors within the tumors of endometrial cancer patients with obesity. Our long-term goal is to identify preventative treatments for obesity-driven endometrial cancer and reduce the incidence of this disease.”

The project is a collaboration between Dr. Wilson’s Lab, Katherine Gurdziel, Ph.D., director of the WSU Genome Sciences Core, and Julie Boerner, Ph.D., director of the Biobanking and Correlative Sciences Core and member of the MT Research Program at Karmanos. Sanjeev Ganesh, a WSU Cancer Biology Program master’s candidate, and Jessica Long, a second-year M.D. and Ph.D. student in WSU’s Biomedical Graduate Program, will also assist with the project.

The study began on July 1, 2023, and is expected to run for a year, ending on June 30, 2024.

The DMC Foundation is a supporting organization of the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan. The foundation awards health-related research, education, and community benefit activities that promote the well-being of metro Detroiters.