***SAVE THE DATE*** 5th Annual Cancer Biology Graduate Program Retreat, September 29-30, 2017
Dear Cancer Biology Community,
The 5th Annual Cancer Biology Program Retreat will be held on Friday and Saturday, September 29nd – 30th at the Maumee Bay Lodge/Conference Center near Toledo, Ohio along the shore of Lake Erie. The retreat will tentatively begin on Friday with lunch, followed by faculty, student, postdoc talks, a poster session and dinner. The retreat will conclude on Saturday with breakfast, faculty talks, Dr. Verma’s keynote talk, and lunch. Please mark these date on your calendars.
Further retreat details will be sent to everyone later this summer.
We are pleased to announce that Dr. Inder Verma will be our keynote speaker.
Inder Verma, PhD
Editor in Chief PNAS Irwin and Joan Jacobs Chair in Exemplary Life Science
Professor, Laboratory of Genetics
American Cancer Society Professor of Molecular Biology
The Salk Institute, Laboratory of Genetics
Inder Verma is one of the world’s leading authorities on gene therapy and cancer. Verma developed innovations in two tools—viral vectors and gene editing—to study pathways that underlie cancer, metabolism and other diseases. Verma was the first scientist to genetically engineer HIV-based tools to insert new genes into cells. These cells can then be returned to the body, where they produce proteins whose absence causes disease. This retroviral vector technique is now a tool routinely used in molecular biology labs and clinical trials.
In the case of gene editing, Verma is creating induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) from patients by taking, for example, skin cells of patients, coaxing them back into an early stem cell state, and then providing conditions to make those cells develop into more complex brain, lung, prostate and breast tissues. This lets his lab trace how genetic abnormalities that arise during development lead to cancer. With these tools, Verma is revealing how the aberrant expression of normal cellular genes can causes tumors. In particular, he is interested in explaining how inflammation in the body alters cellular pathways, resulting in cancers and other diseases.