Greehey cancer researcher receives UT System’s Rising STARs award

David Libich, Ph.D.

David Libich, Ph.D., assistant professor of biochemistry and structural biology in the Long School of Medicine and faculty member of UT Health’s Greehey Children’s Cancer Research Institute, has received a Rising STARs Award from the UT System. The award for early-career investigators comes with a $250,000 grant.

Dr. Libich, who began work here in 2017, is employing state-of-the-art approaches to study the structure and dynamics of protein systems that are implicated in childhood cancers.

He said the award funds will help acquire highly specialized equipment to study the intricate structural biology of proteins involved in these cancers.

“With the expansion of our research capabilities provided by the UT Rising Stars award, we are now better equipped to overcome these challenges and contribute to the understanding of the function of these proteins at the molecular level, and with this information, design new therapeutics to treat the diseases caused by the malfunction of these proteins,” he said.

He added that the award “will not only benefit our research in pediatric cancers but will be useful to all UT investigators who are researching proteins involved in human diseases such as cancer and neurodegeneration that present similar challenges.”

Originally from Canada, Dr. Libich earned his doctorate at the University of Guelph in Ontario and completed postdoc work in New Zealand and Singapore. From 2011 to 2017 he was a visiting fellow at the U.S. National Institutes of Health.

The UT System Board of Regents authorized the Science and Technology Acquisition and Retention (STARs) program in 2004. Multiple types of STARs awards support enhancement of UT institutions across the state.

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