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  • Yunnuo Shi, MSc


Dr. Zhenyu Cheng

Program of Study:

PhD, Microbiology and Immunology

Project Title:

A regulatory role of Receptor of activated protein C kinase 1 in lung cancer apoptosis

Research Summary:

Cancer is the leading cause of death in Canada. In the human body, the life, death and replication of non-cancerous cells is tightly controlled. When the cells reach of the end of their lifespan, a process called apoptosis will be activated and results in the programmed death of the cell. Cancer cells on the other hand, are the faulty cells that are able to continually grow and replicate without triggering apoptosis. One way to treat cancers is to turn on the apoptosis signals in cancer cells, which then leads to the death of those cells. A protein, named ‘receptor of activated protein C kinase 1’, or RACK1 for short, plays an important role in the survival of lung cancer cells. Studies showed that the absence of RACK1 in lung cancer cells activated the apoptosis processes, however it is not clear why this happens. Our lab has identified a novel interaction between the RACK1 protein and another protein called proteasome. Proteasome is a protein complex that is responsible for the degradation of the majority of unwanted proteins in cells. Disruption of the proteasome function will break the balance between protein synthesis and degradation in the cells and lead to apoptosis. Therefore, it is possible that RACK1 regulates apoptosis in lung cancer through its interaction with proteasome. In this application, I propose to determine the molecular events involved in RACK1-regulated apoptosis via its control on proteasome activity in lung cancer cells. These studies will provide new information relevant to our understanding of the regulatory mechanisms of lung cancer cell death.

Scholarships and/or Awards:

  • Cancer Research Training Program (CRTP) Traineeship Award 2020
  • Nova Scotia Graduate Scholarship 2019-2023
  • IWK Graduate scholarship 2014-2016

Career Aspirations:

After the PhD training at Dalhousie University, my goal is to pursue a career in cancer research through a post-doctoral position. My long-term goal is to become an independent investigator in the study of cancer biology.


Dalhousie University


Shi, Y., Halperin, A.S., and Lee., F. S. (2017). Expression, purification, and functional analysis of an antigen-targeting fusion protein composed of CD40 ligand and the C-terminal fragment of ovalbumin. Protein Expression and Purification, 142: 37-44.

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