Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Stuart Lindsay – “Epigenetics – Physics or Magic?”

Tuesday, September 4th, 2012

Speaker: Stuart Lindsay, PhD, specializes in biophysics at the molecular level and scanning probe microscopy. Much of his work is aimed at speedier diagnosis and an understanding of the molecular basis of disease. He holds 29 US patents and is a technology advisor for the Atomic Force Microscope Division of Agilent Technologies. Agilent has acquired Molecular Imaging Corporation, which he co-founded in 1993.

Location: Biodesign Auditorium

Web Cast: View Web Cast Video

Date & Time: September 20th, 2012 12:00 p.m.

Title: Epigenetics – Physics or Magic?

Abstract: To a physicist, epigenetics – the passing of heritable traits to daughter cells without alteration of the genome – seems like magic. Yet it surely lies at the heart of cancer, as cancerous phenotypes can be switched on and off without alteration of the genome. Together with the Henikoff lab at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, we have been looking for physical manifestations of epigenetic coding. We started by looking at modifications and variants of histones, but these seem to be unlikely candidates for heritable markers. Instead, it appears that transcription factors (which are passed on at cell division) are the controlling factor. We have also studied methylation of DNA, a modification that imparts permanent silencing. Nucleosomes reconstituted on methylated DNA are intrinsically harder to open, implying a mechanical change in the DNA on methylation. Light scattering studies(by Sara Vaiana and Stephanie Cope) shows that methylation makes no difference in bulk solution. In contrast, AFM studies show that DNA shortens and stiffens with methylation at a solid-liquid interface. We therefore conclude that the hydrophobic interaction plays a role in keeping methylated DNA in place on nucleosomes.

Thank you and if you have questions please contact Amanda Wilber! And don’t forget, coffee will be served!

Amanda Wilber, Center for the Convergence of Physical Science and Cancer Biology

Arizona State University | P.O. Box 871504 | Tempe, AZ 85287

480.965.3860 | Fax: 480.965.6362
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Seminars

Thursday, August 23rd, 2012

Upcoming seminars

Date Speaker Institution Title & Page
September 6, 2012 Steve Henikoff Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Institute “Histone variants, nucleosome dynamics and epigenetics”
September 20, 2012 Stuart Lindsay ASU “Epigenetics – Physics or Magic?”
October 4, 2012 Hans-Joachim Ziock Los Alamos National Laboratory “A New Definition of Information: its Origins and Implications for Cancer”
October 18, 2012 NO SEMINAR NCI SITE VISIT
November 1, 2012 Peter Kuhn Scripps Research Instutute TBD
November 15, 2012 Landon Inge St Joeseph’s Hospital and Medical Center TBD
November 29, 2012 Rod McEver Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation “Force-regulated adhesion of leukocytes to vascular surfaces”
January 10, 2013 Martin Bues Mayo Clinic TBD
January 24, 2013 Anna Barker Former Deputy Director NCI TBD
February 7, 2013 Chad Leidy Universidad de Los Andes, Bogota TBD
February 21, 2013 TBD TBD TBD
March 7, 2013 TBD TBD TBD
March 21, 2013 TBD TBD TBD
April 4, 2013 Dora Lam-Himlim Mayo Clinic TBD
April 18, 2013 TBD TBD TBD

Past Seminars(from most recent)

Date Speaker Institution Title & Page
April 19, 2012 Karen Anderson Biodesign Institute, ASU “Designing Cancer Vaccines: From Antigen Identification to Targeting Tumor Dormancy”
April 5, 2012 Barbara Hempstead Cornell “The Impact of Genomic Evolution on Clinical Challenges”
March 8, 2012 Sanjay Kumar UC Berkeley “Mechanobiological control of tumor and stem cell behavior: Lessons from the brain”
February 23, 2012 Carlo Maley UCSF “Evolution in Cancer: Lessons from Barrett’s Esophagus”
February 9, 2012 John Pepper NCI “Cancer as a failure of multicellularity”
January 26, 2012 Paul Davies ASU “Cancer as Metazoa 1.0”
January 12, 2012 Geoffrey West Santa Fe Institute “Towards a Quantitative, Predictive Theory of Tumor Growth, Metabolic Rate and Vascular Structure”
November 17, 2011 Raoul Tibes Mayo Clinic “Target Identification in Cancer Using RNA interference–Accelerated Therapy Development in Leukemias”
November 2, 2011 William Muller Feinberg School of Medicine “How Endothelial Cells Regulate Leukocyte Transmigration: Application to Cancer Metastasis”
October 20, 2011 Thai Tran ASU “Discovery of Prolactin Signaling Pathway in Breast Cancer”
October 10, 2011 William Grady Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center “The Role of Epigenetic Alterations in Colon Cancer”

September 22, 2011 Luis Cisneros ASU “Initiation of Micro-Metastases from Low-Fitness Cancer Cells: Rare, Explosive, and Deterministic”
September 8, 2011 Robert Austin Princeton Ten Crazy Ideas about Cancer
August 25, 2011 David Fleischer Mayo Clinic “Comparing Esophageal Cancer in Phoenix, Arizona and Feiching, China”
March 24, 2011 Joseph Mikhael Mayo Clinic “From Incurable to chronic: Multiple Myeloma in 2011”
February 25, 2011 Gaurav Sharma Sanford Burnham Medical Research Institute “Therapeutic Targeting of Macrophages using Engineered Nanoparticles”
February 24, 2011 Josh LaBaer ASU “High Throughput Cell-Based Studies and Protein Microarrays for Biomarker and Target Discovery”
January 27, 2011 Alex K-Y. Jen University of Washington “Rational Design and Self-Assembly for Photonics, Energy, and Nanomedicine”
December 16, 2010 Stephen Wolfram Wolfram Research “Biomedicine in the Computational Universe”
October 28, 2010 Jack tuszynski University of Alberta “Computational Drug Discovery for Cancer Chemotherapy”
September 23, 2010 Kaushal Rege ASU “Synergetic Approaches in Molecular and Nanoscale Therapeutics and Delivery Systems”
August 26, 2010 Rafael Fonseca Mayo Clinic “Myeloma as an Example of Translational Research”
May 20, 2010 Laura Gonzalez ASU “Functional Genomics and Proteomics to understand tamoxifen resistance”
April 22, 2010 Stuart Lindsay ASU “Mapping Epigenetic Changes One Molecule at a Time”
April 8, 2010 Michael Barrett TGen “Clonal Analyses and Clinical Behaviors of Human Cancer”
March 25, 2010 Kimberly J. Bussey TGen “The role of Bioinformatics in teasing apart epigenetics in cancer”
March 11, 2010 Jim Esler ASU “Are cancers phosphorus-limited ‘ecosystems’?”
February 25, 2010 John D. Nagy ASU “Evolutionary Suicide and the Evolution of Angiogenesis in Cancer”
February 11,2010 Donald Coffey Johns Hopkins School of Medicine “Nuclear Architecture: Energy, Topology and Cancer”
January 28, 2010 Seungchan Kim TGen “Context-specific genomic regulation in cancer”

National Cancer Institute’s annual PS-OC to be held in Scottsdale – April 16th-19th

Wednesday, August 15th, 2012

The National Cancer Institute’s annual PS-OC network conference will convene at the Scottsdale Plaza Resort, April 16-19. Several hundred participants are expected. The meeting will begin with a Young Investigators Forum, and will include cutting edge research reports from the twelve Centers in the network.

Steve Henikoff – “Histone variants, nucleosome dynamics and epigenetics”

Thursday, August 9th, 2012

Speaker: Steve Henikoff, PhD, received a BS degree in Chemistry from the University of Chicago and a Ph.D. degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from Harvard University, and carried out postdoctoral research at the University of Washington. He joined the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle in 1981, where he is a Member of the Basic Sciences Division and an Affiliate Professor of Genome Science at the University of Washington. He has been an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute since 1990 and a Member of the US National Academy of Sciences since 2005. He is co-Editor-in-Chief of Epigenetics & Chromatin, a member of the Editorial Boards of Trends in Genetics, Current Opinion in Genetics and Development and Genome Biology, and a member of the Scientific Adisory Boards of Epizyme, Inc. and the Chicago Biomedical Consortium. His laboratory studies chromatin processes, epigenetic inheritance, centromere structure, function and evolution, and develops tools for epigenomics.

Location: Biodesign Auditorium

Web Cast: View Web Cast Video

Date & Time: September 6th, 2012 12:00 p.m.

Title: Histone variants, nucleosome dynamics and epigenetics

Abstract: Dr. Henikoff will talk about histone variants, nucleosome dynamics and epigenetics.

Thank you and if you have questions please contact Amanda Wilber! And don’t forget, coffee will be served!

Amanda Wilber, Center for the Convergence of Physical Science and Cancer Biology

Arizona State University | P.O. Box 871504 | Tempe, AZ 85287

480.965.3860 | Fax: 480.965.6362
email hidden; JavaScript is required

“The End of Illness” – David Agus, watch the public lecture here

Wednesday, February 29th, 2012

Speaker: Davis Agus, M.D, is an internationally renowned oncologist who holds the position of Professor of Medicine at the University of Southern California. A true visionary, he has become known as an incisive commentator on cancer research and clinical practice.

Location: NEEB Hall

Date & Time: February 29th, 2012 7:00 pm

Title: The End of Illness

Abstract: Dr. Agus proposes a new “systemic” model of health that will dramatically change not only how we take care of ourselves, but also how we spur the next generation of treatments and, in some instances, cures. It’s like that old saying of having to go to war in order to understand peace. His war on cancer in particular has given him a rare and unique vantage point that he has used to develop this different way of honoring the body’s preferred way of life. His ultimate goal is to teach people how to stave off illness and save their own lives through the tactical strategies of personalized medicine and practical prescriptions that are tailored to their specific needs and bodies.

Beyond Center

Center for the Convergence of Physical Science and Cancer Biology

Arizona State University | P.O. Box 871504 | Tempe, AZ 85287

480.965.3860 | Fax: 480.965.6362

If you have any questions, please contact Amanda Wilber
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Roger Johnson talks about PSOC cancer project on KTAR

Wednesday, January 11th, 2012

New cancer technology study conducted at ASU
by Bob McClay/KTAR (January 10th, 2012 @ 5:00am)

Tempe, Ariz. – Technology being studied at Arizona State University could one day lead to an earlier diagnosis of breast cancer.

Researchers at ASU’s Biodesign Institute are working with a new 3D Imaging technology that pinpoints subtle changes in the nuclear structure of cells.

“The texture or the arrangement of the DNA in the nucleus is known to affect gene expression, which means which genes are more turned off or turned on, which changes as a function of disease state,” said Roger Johnson, a Research Laborator Manager at ASU and a co-author of a study of the technology.

Johnson went on to describe the technology.

“It’s kind of like a CAT Scanner, where the imaging is reduced to a sub-micron scale,” he said. “So it’s kind of like a cat-scanner for individual cells.

“Our hope is that these technologies will offer us the opportunity for early cancer detection,” said Johnson. “So that we can alert patients at the very early stages when the disease is still treatable.”

The technology was developed by a company called Visiongate, which hopes to get FDA approval this year. If it does, Johnson says the technology could be available in clinics around the country in two to three years.

Paul Davies on NPR

Monday, January 9th, 2012

Listen to Paul Davies on NPR discussing how his study of time travel and search for life in the universe informs his cancer research.

Steve Goldstein, left, host of "Here and Now" on KJZZ radio, interviewed ASU Regents' Professor Paul Davies on topics ranging from time travel to cancer research during the Dec. 21 show. Photo by: Carol Hughes

Time travel, SETI and cancer research are focus for ASU astrobiologist
December 21, 2011

“What do cancer research, time travel theories and the possibilities of life on other planets all have in common? For one thing, Paul Davies,” said Steve Goldstein, host of the radio show “Here and Now” on KJZZ (91.5 FM) in metropolitan Phoenix.

Davies, a theoretical physicist, cosmologist and astrobiologist at Arizona State University, where he is a Regents’ Professor, talked about the varied topics during a 15-minute interview Dec. 21.

Time travel was the first topic raised by Goldstein, and Davies replied: “People want to know, can it really be done? And, the answer is, well, maybe.” He explained that using Einstein’s theory, “we know how to travel in the future … just move. You can only go forward in time … this way.”

Davies didn’t want to give too much away on the radio show about time travel, since it is the topic of the annual Sci-fi meets Sci-Fact lecture at ASU. Davies, who is director of the BEYOND Center for Fundamental Concepts in Science, will deliver the lecture at 7 p.m., Jan. 31, in Neeb Hall on ASU’s Tempe campus.

However, he shared with Goldstein, “with something like a wormhole in space, it might be possible to go back in time.”

Other topics covered during the interview were one-way missions to Mars, the importance of continuing to search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI) and the importance of imagination to a scientist.

Davies also discussed his current research on cancer, as director of one of the 12 federally funded physical-science oncology centers looking at cancer research through fresh eyes … those of a physicist, rather than a biologist or chemist.

The interview is on the KJZZ website at http://kjzz.org/content/1112/beyond-science-fiction
Article source:
KJZZ “Here and Now”

Article:
http://kjzz.org/content/1112/beyond-science-fiction

Editor’s Note: Links are included for informational purposes only. Due to varying editorial policies, news publications may remove or change a link for archival purposes at any time without notice.

William Muller – How Endothelial Cells Regulate Leukocyte Transmigration: Application to Cancer Metastasis

Thursday, November 3rd, 2011

Speaker: William Muller, MD, PhD. received his A.B. degree summa cum laude from Harvard University in 1975. He earned his PhD degree from The Rockefeller University in 1981 under the mentorship of Dr. Ralph Steinman and the late Dr. Zanvil Cohn. He received his MD degree in 1982 from Cornell University Medical College as part of the combined MD/PhD program. In 2007 he was recruited to Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine as the Magerstadt Professor and Chairman of the Department of Pathology. Dr. Muller’s research focuses on the cellular and molecular basis of the inflammation, and in particular the interactions of leukocytes and endothelial cells in the inflammatory response. Dr. Muller’s research has been well funded by the National Institutes of Health, the American Heart Association, and several biotech companies. He is the recipient of the prestigious MERIT Award from the NIH. He is one of the Editors of The Journal of Experimental Medicine and Annual Reviews of Pathology: Mechanisms of Disease and serves on the editorial boards of several other journals. He has served in many official capacities over the years for the American Society for Investigative Pathology as well as for the North American Vascular Biology Organization (NAVBO) and was elected President of NAVBO in 2004. He was elected a Fellow of the AAAS in 2010.

Location: Biodesign Auditorium

Web Cast: View Web Cast Video

Date & Time: November 3rd, 2011 12:00 p.m.

Title: How Endothelial Cells Regulate Leukocyte Transmigration: Application to Cancer Metastasis

Thank you and if you have questions please contact Amanda Wilber! And don’t forget, coffee will be served!

Amanda Wilber, Center for the Convergence of Physical Science and Cancer Biology

Arizona State University | P.O. Box 871504 | Tempe, AZ 85287

480.965.3860 | Fax: 480.965.6362
email hidden; JavaScript is required

Homecoming 2011

Saturday, October 29th, 2011

homecoming activities

The Physics and Cancer table at ASU’s Homecoming Parade October, 2011. Our Education and Outreach Coordinator, Pauline Davies, hosted the booth with student worker, Amanda Wilber, to educate the general public about the significant research being conducted within our Physical Sciences and Oncology center here at ASU.

Thai Tran – Discovery of Prolactin Signaling Pathway in Breast Cancer

Monday, October 10th, 2011

Speaker: Thai Tran, PhD. received his Ph.D. in molecular biology from Purdue University and was trained a as a postdoctoral fellow with Dr. Hallgeir Rui at the Kimmel Cancer Center, Thomas Jefferson University. Dr. Tran has background in molecular and cellular biology of cancer. His research focus is to investigate the molecular functions that govern cancer cell development and progression. Specifically, his research has centered on identifying molecular biomarkers in breast, pancreatic and esophagus cancers using the combined approaches of high throughput immunohistochemistry, molecular and cellular technologies. More recently, he has focused more on dissecting intratumoral heterogeneity at the single-cell level by analyzing gene expression profiles of individual cells freshly isolated from true human clinical samples. The primary goal of this study is to identify minute populations of cells that potentially play major roles in cancer progression and metastasis.

Location: Biodesign Auditorium

Web Cast: View Web Cast Video

Date & Time: October 20th, 2011 12:00 p.m.

Title: Discovery of Prolactin Signaling Pathway in Breast Cancer

Abstract: Breast cancer is the second leading cause of deaths among women. In the United States, an estimated 230,480 are diagnosed with breast cancer each year and, of these, 39,520 are expected to die from the disease. This devastating consequence is partly due our inability to detect and provide treatments while the tumor is localized to the breast. As a result, numerous efforts have been made to identify early breast cancer biomarkers. In my talk I will discuss the implications of a number of potential breast cancer biomarkers specifically focusing on the functions of prolactin and its downstream target, Stat5. Unraveling the details of this new mechanism illustrates the complexity of signaling pathways and the formidable challenge of designing chemical intervention.

Thank you and if you have questions please contact Amanda Wilber! And don’t forget, coffee will be served!

Amanda Wilber, Center for the Convergence of Physical Science and Cancer Biology

Arizona State University | P.O. Box 871504 | Tempe, AZ 85287

480.965.3860 | Fax: 480.965.6362
email hidden; JavaScript is required