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[Sep. 29] D5 Medical & Life Science Seminar-Dr. Paola Betancur

September 17 2021

The "D5 Medical & Life Science Seminar" course will be offered by International Research Center for Medical Sciences (IRCMS). It will run from April 2021 to March 2022, 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 these systems become abnormal under certain pathophysiologic conditions; 3) why stem cells are important in animal development and homeostasis; 4) how stem cell-based approaches can help us understand disease mechanisms and find potential cure for diseases related to stem cell malfunction (e.g., cancer, aging).

Date      : September 29, 2021 (Wednesday)

Time      : 10:00 -
              * Zoom online seminar

To receive the meeting ID / Password, please send an email to
ircms*jimu.kumamoto-u.ac.jp by 9:00 on September 29, 2021.
(Replace * with @ when you send an email.)
Please include your name, affiliation, grade and student number in your email.

Speaker : Paola Betancur, PhD
                Assistant Professor,
                Department of Radiation Oncology,
                University of California San Francisco (UCSF)

Title        : An Introduction to the Biology of Cancer and the Therapeutic Approaches Used for its Treatment

Abstract :

In this lecture I will give a brief description to explain:

1)     What is cancer and what characterizes cancer cells. I will give a history overview and provide particular examples to illustrate some of the standard experiments that are performed to investigate the properties that contribute to tumor growth.

2)     How we study cancer. I will introduce some of the animal models that are commonly used to study the regeneration and metastatic capacity of cancer cells and mention other models and explain how they are used to understand mutation burden, tumor microenvironment composition and other disease components.

3)     What are some of the therapeutic approaches currently used for the treatment of cancer. I will introduce: Radiation and its used as cancer therapy. The immune role in the tumor microenvironment, some history about immune therapy and the methods that are used to recruit the immune system to target cancer cells.

Selected publications:

  1. Cui L, Chen S, Lerbs T, Lee JW, Domizi P, Gordon S, Kim Y, Nolan G, Betancur P (Co-PI) and Wernig G. Activation of JUN in Fibroblast Promotes Pro-fibrotic Programme and Dampens Protective Immunity. Nat Comm 11(1):2795, 06/03/2020. PMID: 32493933
  2. Betancur P, Abraham B.J, Yiu Y.Y, Willingham S, Khameneh F, Zarnegar M, Kuo A.H, McKenna K, Kojima Y, Leeper N.J, Ho P, Gip P, Swigut T, Sherwood R, Clarke M.F, Somlo G, Young R.A, Weissman I.L. A CD47-associated Super-enhancer Links Pro-inflammatory Signaling to CD47 Upregulation in Breast Cancer. Nat Comm 8:14802, 2017. PMID:28378740
  3. Betancur P, Bronner-Fraser M, Sauka-Spengler T. Genomic Code for Sox10 Activation Reveals a Key Regulatory Enhancer for Cranial Neural Crest. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA (107) 8:3570-75, 2010. PMID:20139305

Flyer: (Click for a larger image)