The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has awarded a grant in the amount of $1.8 million to support Loma Linda University’s research on "targeting CRLF2 and Ikaros alterations to reduce health disparities in childhood leukemia." 

CRLF2 is a gene on chromosome Xp22.3 and Yp11.3 that encodes a protein receptor for thymic stromal lymphopoietin (TSLP), which forms a functional complex with TSLP and IL7R and stimulates cell proliferation by activating STAT3 and STAT5, as well as JAK2. It is implicated in the development of the haematopoietic system.

The principal investigators are Kimberly Payne, PhD, associate professor of pathology and human anatomy, medicine, and pediatrics, and director of translational research in the Department of Basic Sciences, Loma Linda University School of Medicine, and Sinisa Dovat, MD, PhD, adjunct associate professor in the Department of Basic Sciences at Loma Linda University School of Medicine, and associate professor at Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine, Hershey, Pennsylvania.

The grant awards $375,000 this year, followed by similar amounts each of the following years through the year 2020, for a total of more than $1.8 million.