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Miss Lingli Li

PhD Scholarship

Researcher: Miss Lingli Li
Institute: St Vincent’s Institute of Medical Research
Project title: Understanding the role of a newly discovered protein
        in regulating lymphoma
Disease focus:       Burkitt’s lymphoma
Annual Funding:    $40,000
Funding period:    2014-2017

Project summary

Researchers from St Vincent’s Institute of Medical Research (SVI), Molecular Genetics Unit suspect that over production of a protein known as 8-kDa dynein light chain (DYNLL1) could lead to lymphoma.

The team made the discovery while investigating the function of a newly discovered protein known as ‘ATM substrate Chk2-interacting Zn2+-finger protein’ or ASCIZ. ASCIZ controls the production of DYNLL1 in response to cellular need.

Using laboratory models, the SVI researchers found that the ASCIZ protein plays a key role in regulating the production of normal B-cells by activating DYNLL1 production. PhD student, Lingli Li, now wants to test if DYNLL1 and ASCIZ also have similar functions in lymphoma development using laboratory models of lymphoma.

“I’m initially focusing on the mechanisms by which ASCIZ and DYNLL1 proteins act in normal B-cell development and then their role in the onset of lymphoma, before finally assessing their potential as targets for new treatments,” said Lingli.

“Through these studies, I hope to improve our knowledge of B-cell lymphomas and possibly establish if DYNLL1 is a useful target for future lymphoma therapies.”