Abstract: Series 103, Lecture 2

The Harvey Lectures Series 103 (2007—2008)

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Lecture #2: Thursday, November 15, 2007 — Time and Location

Modeling Cancer and Cancer Genomes

Ronald A DePinho, MD

Ronald A DePinho, MD

Director, Belfer Institute for Cancer Science
American Cancer Society Research Professor
Professor of Medicine and Genetics

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School

Boston, Massachusetts

Dr DePinho's Website

This year marks the centennial of the mouse in cancer science. Engineered mouse models have been instrumental in illuminating key molecular, genomic and physiological factors that conspire to drive the development of cancer, and maintain the malignant state. We have explored the intimate association between the aging process and cancer, and how common adult cancers acquire rampant chromosomal aberrations. A confluence of telomere dysfunction, impaired DNA damage signaling, and age- or disease- accelerated epithelial renewal play critical roles in creating genomic events needed to drive the malignant process. We have also defined the extent to which telomeres influence the normal aging process and lifespan and contribute to stem cell and tissue homeostasis. These studies have provided insights into the pathogenesis of inherited and acquired degenerative diseases, among leading causes of death worldwide. Lastly, we have proven the utility of the mouse in comparative oncogenomics and proteomics in facilitating the identification of cancer genes and early detection biomarkers.

Lecture Sponsor: Wyeth Research

Wyeth Research