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Mollapour elected president-elect of the Cell Stress Society International

Upstate Medical University’s Mehdi Mollapour, PhD, professor of urology, biochemistry and molecular biology, vice chair for translational research for Urology and director of Upstate Kidney Cancer Biology Program, has been elected president-elect of the Cell Stress Society International. He will begin a two-year term as president in 2025. 

The society represents researchers investigating stress responses at cellular and organismal level using molecular, cellular biology as well studies of natural populations, clinical and environmental applications. Founded in 1999, the society promotes collaboration among the various fields of stress research, international scientific cooperation, and public awareness. The society currently has almost 500 members. The society publishes papers and review articles in its journal Cell Stress & Chaperones

Mollapour is a leading expert in the chaperone code. He is currently in the midst of a five-year, $2.2 million NIH study of the chaperone code, which plays an important role in cancer and neurodegenerative diseases. The study is funded by a highly prestigious Maximizing Investigators’ Research Award (MIRA or R35) award from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS), which is part of NIH. 

“While the genetic code specifies how DNA makes proteins, the chaperone code controls how proteins are folded to produce a functional proteome,” Mollapour explains. “Deciphering or cracking the code is important in understanding how chaperones work in normal cells as well as cancer cells. It will also allow us to improve the efficacy of chaperone drugs (Hsp90 drugs) in treating cancer patients.” 

Mollapour helped organize an international chaperone code meeting, which he reported on in the Journal of Biological Chemistry. 

His work has been published in dozens of scientific journals, including Nature Structural & Molecular Biology, Nature Communications, Nature Reviews Urology, Cell Report and others. 

Over the past decade, his research support has come from numerous organizations, including the National Cancer Institute, Department of Defense, Carol Baldwin Breast Cancer Fund of Central New York, and others.