The Van Andel Research Institute–Stand Up to Cancer (VARI–SU2C) Epigenetics Dream Team is a multi-institutional effort to develop new epigenetic therapies to combat cancer, and to move promising therapies to clinical trials.
Epigenetics is the study of how the packaging and modification of DNA influences which genes are used or kept silent in a particular cell. By better understanding normal epigenetic processes, scientists can identify errors in epigenetic modifications that lead to the development and progression of cancer. Epigenetic therapies work by correcting these errors and have the potential to directly treat cancer and to sensitize patients to chemotherapy or radiation, which makes these therapies more effective.
The VARI–SU2C Epigenetics Dream Team is headquartered at VARI in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and includes members from Johns Hopkins University, Garvan Institute of Medical Research, Indiana University, Memorial Sloan Kettering Comprehensive Cancer Center, Fox Chase Cancer Center/Temple University, University of Maryland, University of Southern California and Rigshospitalet/University of Copenhagen. The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), as SU2C’s scientific partner, reviews projects and provides objective scientific oversight.