Epigenetic targets in cancer by Kristian Helin
Welcome to the Institute of Basic Medical Sciences distinguished seminar "Epigenetic targets in cancer" scheduled for Wednesday 2nd of May at 13 hrs
Speaker: Professor Kristian Helin, Biotech Research and Innnovation Centre (BRIC) and The Novo Nordisk Foundation for Stem Cell Biology (DanStem), University of Copenhagen, Denmark
Cell fate decisions are regulated by an intricate interplay between the cellular environment, growth factors and intracellular signaling pathways. The balance of stability versus plasticity in stem cells is a regulatory challenge, and extensive studies in recent years have focused on understanding the contribution of transcription factors and epigenetic enzymes in the regulation of cellular identity and differentiation pathways. Disruption of epigenetic control is a frequent event in disease, and the first epigenetic-based therapies for cancer treatment have been approved. A generation of new classes of potent and specific inhibitors for several chromatin-associated proteins have shown promise in pre-clinical trials. Although the biology of epigenetic regulation is complex, these and other new inhibitors will hopefully be of clinical use in the coming years.
The research in Helin's lab is focused on understanding the role of epigenetic regulators in maintaining cellular identity and how their deregulation leads to cancer. In his talk, Helin will review the progress that has been made on the development of new epigenetic inhibitors and discuss some of their recent results on the understanding of the biological function of chromatin-associated proteins and how they contribute to cancer.