Cancer and the Nature of Life Series.

Friday 13 May 2022, Noon AZ and Pacific time.  Please join us!

Brief Abstract:  Cancer arises when mutations drive cells of the body to abandon their usual functions and to instead embark upon a “selfish” evolutionary program underpinned by abnormal growth. Most cancers exist only within the bodies of the hosts that spawn them; rarely, however, cancers can acquire adaptations allowing them to spread between individuals. In such transmissible cancers the cancer cells themselves become agents of infection. Elizabeth Murchison will discuss recent research on the origins and evolution of the naturally occurring mammalian transmissible cancers affecting dogs and Tasmanian devils.

Elizabeth Murchison is Professor of Comparative Oncology and Genetics at the University of Cambridge, in the Department of Veterinary Medicine. where she leads a team studying transmissible cancer in dogs and Tasmanian devils. In fact, Liz discovered that the cancer raging through the population in Tasmania didn’t come from the body of the affected animals but originated in a different individual – a huge surprise to everyone!

Amy Boddy, from the University of California Santa Barbara, is a researcher in ACE and a human biologist and evolutionary theorist.  Amy uses approaches from disciplines such as comparative biology and genomics to apply evolutionary and ecological theory to human health and diseases, including cancer.

Please register for the Zoom link here: