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Humans are living longer than ever, many years after having children. But, longer human life expectancy means a greater incidence of cancer. Join us to hear about the story of Henrietta Lacks, who has one of the most influencial cell lines of all time and how we are developing effective therapies to overcome the greater incidence barrier with modern technologies?
Cutting Edge - CRISPR-Cas9
Fionnuala Mckenna (PhD student)
CRISPR-Cas9 is a new gene-editing technique that has become increasingly popular in research labs around the world. It is a precise technique that allows scientists to accurately 'edit' the human genome and has led to speculation that it may be possible to edit diseases such as cancer and HIV out of people completely. This talk will address what CRISPR is, the potential for its use in cancer treatment and also cover some of the ethical questions that arise from human gene-editing.
The Story of Henrietta Lacks
Dr Greg Brooke (Lecturer)
Henrietta Lacks never knew that the tumour that killed her would change cancer research forever. Cells taken from her tumour were used to create the first immortalized cell line called HeLa cells. These cells are still widely used for cancer research and have been used in the development of multiple therapeutics. This talk will tell the story of Henrietta Lacks, the development of the HeLa cell line, concerns that were raised regarding patient consent and highlight some of the scientific and medical discoveries that have resulted from this cell line.
Switching off Cancer Cells! What Structural Biology and Biochemistry Can Tell Us About Cancer
Dr Filippo Prischi (Lecturer)
Cells are like rooms with lots of switches, but we don't know which switch turns on which light. By knowing which switch is connected to a bulb, we can control the light in the room. The same happens in a cell: the switches are proteins called kinases and the bulbs are new proteins produced in the cell. My group studies a unique family of kinases, the RSK, a promising target for the treatment of lung cancer. By knowing how RSK works, we can understand and control the fate of a cell. This can be used to develop novel molecules that target only the right "switch", stopping cancer cell growth.