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[November 6] D5 Medical & Life Science Seminar - Dr. Ruby Yun-Ju Huang

October 18 2019

The "D5 Medical & Life Science Seminar" course will be offered by International Research Center for Medical Sciences (IRCMS). It will run from April 2019 to March 2020, with lectures given by scientists who are affiliated with IRCMS or in collaboration with researchers at IRCMS. The lectures will be given once a month, in English, and by leading scientists in the relevant research field. Students will be taught: 1) how normal physiological functions are maintained in the human body; 2) how abnormalities in these systems (e.g., cancer) are studied using experimental models; 3) cutting-edge technologies (including single cell level imaging and omics analysis) used for mechanistic understanding of these abnormalities; 4) efforts and progresses in finding cure for human diseases associated with these abnormalities; and 5) importance of understanding disease mechanisms using cross-disciplinary approaches.

Date       : November 6, 2019 (Wednesday)
Time      : 17:30 -
Venue    : IRCMS 1F Meeting Lounge
Speaker : Ruby Yun-Ju Huang , M.D., Ph.D.
                 School of Medicine, College of Medicine, National Taiwan University
                 (Visiting Professor, IRCMS)

Title        : GRHL2: a pioneer factor

Abstract :
Grainyhead-like 2 (GRHL2) is an evolutionarily conserved transcription factor that regulates a repertoire of epithelial-specific genes to guard the epithelial differentiation. Grhl2 plays important roles in embryonic development. Grhl2 is expressed in the villous cytotrophoblasts and syncytiotrophoblasts in the placenta. Knocking-out of grhl2 in mice results in defects in neural tube closure and is embryonic lethal. Mutations of GRHL2 is also reported in human diseases such as Autosomal-Recessive Ectodermal Dysplasia Syndrome. GHRL2 has been shown to suppress epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT). The loss of GRHL2 results in sequential changes in the EMT phenotype. More recently, GRHL2 has been suggested to act as a pioneer factor. In this lecture, I will introduce the findings from the literatures to support the role of GRHL2 as a pioneer factor during epithelial differentiation.


  1. Grainyhead-like Protein 2: The Emerging Role in Hormone-Dependent Cancers and Epigenetics. Reese RM, Harrison MM, Alarid ET. Endocrinology. 2019 May 1;160(5):1275-1288. doi: 10.1210/en.2019-00213. PMID: 30958537
  2. Roles of Grainyhead-like transcription factors in cancer. Frisch SM, Farris JC, Pifer PM. Oncogene. 2017 Nov 2;36(44):6067-6073. doi: 10.1038/onc.2017.178. Epub 2017 Jul 17. Review. PMID: 28714958
  3. The role of GRHL2 and epigenetic remodeling in epithelial-mesenchymal plasticity in ovarian cancer cells. Chung VY, Tan TZ, Ye J, Huang RL, Lai HC, Kappei D, Wollmann H, Guccione E, Huang RY. Commun Biol. 2019 Jul 24;2:272. doi: 10.1038/s42003-019-0506-3. eCollection 2019. PMID: 31372511