Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
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Sze Earns Prestigious NCI Fellowship Award


Christie Sze, a graduate student in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics, has received the National Cancer Institute (NCI) Predoctoral to Postdoctoral Fellow Transition Award (F99/K00). The prestigious grant is designed to support and encourage outstanding graduate students recognized by their institutions for their high potential and strong interest in pursuing careers as independent cancer researchers.

The award will support Sze’s research into the epigenetic methylase Set1A/COMPASS complex that Shilatifard discovered over fifteen years ago. Ali Shilatifard, PhD, chair of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics, director of the Simpson Querrey Center for Epigenetics, Robert Francis Furchgott Professor and a member of the Lurie Cancer Center said that “Set1A/COMPASS is one of the six members of the COMPASS family of enzymes, appears to be particularly important in the development of certain cancers and that Christie’s work is instrumental in our understanding of the role of COMPASS family in transcriptional regulation of in cancer pathogenesis.” 

“The COMPASS family is highly mutated in cancer. Although this study is from a developmental aspect, in order to understand cancer, you need to understand the normal functions of the protein,” said Sze, who is also a recipient of a Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award Individual Predoctoral Fellowship grant (F31).  “Our lab is continuing to learn more and more about each of these family members, and how they play a role in disease.”    Back to top