Hollings researchers recognized with High Impact Publications Awards

September 27, 2021
open magazines piled on top of each other
Hollings started the High Impact Publications Award to recognize excellence in cancer research and advancing cancer care. Adobe Stock

Two MUSC Hollings Cancer Center researchers, Wenjian Gan, Ph.D., assistant professor in the MUSC Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, and Tracy Smith, Ph.D., assistant professor in the MUSC Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, received High Impact Publications Awards.

MUSC Hollings Cancer Center supports its members’ impactful discoveries and instituted the High Impact Publications Award this year to be given on an annual basis to recognize excellence in cancer research at Hollings. Awardees will have a plaque displayed at Hollings and will be featured presenters at the annual Hollings Research Retreat.

Hollings director Raymond N. DuBois, M.D., Ph.D., said the awards are a way to support researchers who are making important contributions to the work of the cancer center. “Dr. Gan and Dr. Smith exemplify excellence in their respective fields of cancer research, and we’re pleased to present these awards to recognize and honor how their work is advancing cancer care,” he said.

wenjian gan 
Dr. Wenjian Gan

Gan’s award stems from his article in Nature Communications titled “PRMT5-Mediated Arginine Methylation Activates AKT Kinase to Govern Tumorigenesis.” In his research, Gan found that a protein associated with multiple cancers, protein arginine methyltransferase 5 (PRMT5), promotes AKT activation, which is critical to cell growth and linked to cancer development.

“We are excited to get this High Impact Publications Award, as it gives recognition to the efforts by my team and our collaborators,” Gan said. “Although it is not something we aim for, this award indeed encourages us to keep doing better cancer research to improve cancer treatment in the future.”

tracy smith 
Dr. Tracy Smith

Smith’s award stems from research published in JAMA Pediatrics titled “Intention to Quit Vaping Among United States Adolescents.” Researchers report data from a national representative survey of 14,798 youth, age 12 to 17, and found that 44.5% of those who were currently vaping were seriously thinking about quitting vaping, while 24.9% had tried to quit in the past year. The research supports the development of vaping cessation resources across the country.

“It feels good to be recognized by my colleagues and leadership at Hollings for the work we’re doing,” Smith said. “The goal of our paper was to recognize that many adolescents who are vaping want to quit and are trying to quit, without success. I hope receiving the award will generate more interest in development of interventions for this population.”

For more information about the awards, eligibility and criteria, visit hollingscancercenter.musc.edu/research/high-impact-publications-award.