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Cancer Stem Cells - Therapeutic Implications
Sunday, November 1, 2009
Robert Coppes, Associate Professor, University Medical Center Groningen
Professor of Radiation Oncology
I have been in the field of radiobiology for 30 years and have literally given hundreds of lectures, published over 400 peer reviewed papers and have received many awards, including the Failla Lecture from Radiation Research in 2008. I have had continuous funding from NCI since 1980 with an RO1 that is in its 25th year and a PO1 grant that is in its 23rd year of funding. With respect to stem cells, I was involved in the first paper reporting the relative radioresistance of glioma stem cells, published in Nature in 2006 by Bao et al. Since then I have served on graduate committees and have mentored graduate students and postdoctoral fellows who have continued this work.
Frank Pajonk, Associate Professor, UCLA
Dr. Tannishtha Reya received her undergraduate degree from Williams College in Massachusetts. She then obtained her Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania. Her research and clinical goals and interests include how stem cells make the choice between self-renewal and differentiation.
The overall goal of our lab is to elucidate the signaling pathways that regulate stem cell fate. We have focused specifically on the Wnt signaling pathway, which is a critical regulator of normal growth and development, and a major target of mutation in human cancer. Our recent work shows that activation of Wnt signaling can promote stem cell self-renewal in vitro. Currently, we are using a combination of cellular, molecular and transgenic approaches to determine the role of Wnt signaling in stem cell self-renewal in vivo and to characterize the molecular mechanisms through which Wnt exerts its effect on stem cells. Moreover, since uncontrolled self-renewal is a hallmark of oncogenesis, we are also developing transgenic mouse models to test whether dysregulation of the Wnt pathway can contribute to hematopoietic tumors. Finally, we are interested in identifying the signals that modulate the differentiation of stem cells, to both hematopoietic and non-hematopoietic lineages. These studies will not only shed light on the basic mechanisms that regulate stem cell development and oncogenesis, but also contribute to stem cell based therapies for treatment of human disease.
Audio Synchronized to PowerPoint