Hosted by Professor Clodagh O’Shea and featuring a scientific presentation by Amy Rommel, PhD
Reprogramming Cancer Cells – A Novel Approach to Cancer Treatment
Amy Rommel is a postdoctoral research associate in Professor Inder Verma’s laboratory of genetics. Rommel focuses her efforts on one of the most lethal forms of cancer, glioblastoma. Her current work proposes novel strategies to treat glioblastoma, changing the game on how we treat cancer.
Hosted by Professor Ursula Bellugi and featuring a scientific presentation by Carol Marchetto, PhD
Using human pluripotent stem cells to model autism spectrum disorders – Carol Marchetto
Carol Marchetto is a Senior Staff Scientist in the Laboratory of Dr. Fred Gage at The Salk Institute. Carol is involved in understanding the mechanisms by which human pluripotent stem cells become a fully developed functional neuron. Moreover, Carol is currently studying the behavior of different subtypes of human neurons in neurodegenerative/neurodevelopmental diseases such as Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (Lou Gehrig’s Disease) and Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) are complex neurodevelopmental diseases, highly heritable and mainly characterized by deficits in social interaction, impaired communication and stereotyped behaviors. Currently, there are no early biological markers of ASD, nor known effective treatments that lead to optimal long-term clinical outcome. Using Rett syndrome (RTT) as an ASD genetic model, Carol and colleagues demonstrated that studying developing neurons from ASD patients provided further understanding of early aspects of the disease that could be used as biomarkers for early diagnosis and also as targets for potential therapies.
Adenovirus, a type of cold virus, has developed molecular tools—proteins—that allow it to hijack a cell’s molecular machinery, including large cellular machines involved in growth, replication and cancer suppression. The Salk scientists identified the construction of these molecular weapons and found that they bind together into long chains (polymers) to form a three-dimensional web inside cells that traps and overpowers cellular sentries involved in growth and cancer suppression. The findings, published October 11 in Cell, suggest a new avenue for developing cancer therapies by mimicking the strategies employed by the viruses. Read more.
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