Webinar Technology

Deciphering cancer: The intersection of epigenetics, metabolism, and tumorigenesis

This webinar is brought to you by the Science/AAAS Custom Publishing Office

Deciphering cancer: The intersection of epigenetics, metabolism, and tumorigenesis

Recorded 22 March 2017


Epigenetic modifications to DNA and histone proteins are known to regulate metabolic gene expression, which in turn impacts metabolite levels. Conversely, the machinery responsible for modifying DNA and histones at the epigenetic level is highly sensitive to metabolites arising from cellular metabolism. Thus, the metabolic changes associated with oncogenesis may affect the epigenetic machinery, creating a feedback loop that synergistically promotes the progression of cancer. This webinar will examine how, by targeting proteins responsible for the crosstalk between epigenetics and metabolism, we may be able to develop new and effective therapeutic options for cancer treatment.

During the webinar, the speakers will:

  • Introduce key concepts and general mechanisms through which metabolites regulate chromatin modifications
  • Discuss the interplay between glucose and acetate metabolism in acetyl-CoA production and how this impacts histone acetylation in tumors
  • Elucidate how the intersection of metabolism and epigenetics influences cancer pathogenesis and may present new therapeutic opportunities.

This Webinar will last for approximately 60 minutes

You can also view Part 1, Part 2, Part 4, and Part 5 of this series.

Speaker bios

Kathryn Wellen, Ph.D.

University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA

Dr. Wellen received her B.S. from the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia. She earned her Ph.D. at Harvard School of Public Health in the laboratory of Dr. Gökhan S. Hotamisligil, investigating links between inflammation and insulin resistance in obesity. After completing her graduate studies in 2006, she joined the laboratory of Dr. Craig B. Thompson at the University of Pennsylvania for postdoctoral work focusing on cancer cell metabolism. Her work described the regulatory link between the metabolic enzyme ATP-citrate lyase and histone acetylation levels in mammalian cells, and established that glucose utilization in the hexosamine biosynthetic pathway regulates growth factor receptor signaling. Dr. Wellen has been an assistant professor in the Department of Cancer Biology at the University of Pennsylvania since 2011. Her laboratory studies the impact of cellular metabolism on the epigenome, focusing on the role of acetyl-CoA in regulating histone acetylation. The lab aims to elucidate the physiological functions of metabolic control of the epigenome and how its deregulation contributes to the development and progression of cancer and diabetes. Her honors include selection as a William Guy Forbeck Scholar and a Pew Scholar in the Biomedical Sciences.

Jason Locasale, Ph.D.

Duke University
Durham, NC

Dr. Locasale is a faculty member at Duke University in the Department of Pharmacology and Cancer Biology. He graduated from Rutgers University with degrees in chemistry and physics and received his Ph.D. at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in biological engineering, before moving to Harvard Medical School where he worked as an American Cancer Society postdoctoral fellow. Dr. Locasale’s research focuses on understanding metabolism in health and cancer. He has made seminal contributions to our knowledge of metabolism including the role of serine synthesis in cancers, the role of the Warburg Effect in glucose metabolism, and the characterization of methionine metabolism in mediating methylation dynamics in normal physiology. To address these questions, his laboratory develops and applies state-of-the-art computational and mass spectrometry–based metabolomics approaches and integrates them with current molecular, systems-level, and population-based methodologies. Dr. Locasale is a recipient of the National Institutes of Health K99/R00 Pathway to Independence Award, the International Life Sciences Institute Future Leader Award, the Benjamin Trump Award for Excellence in Cancer Research from the Aspen Cancer Society, and the American Cancer Society Research Scholar Award. He has authored over 90 publications as well as several textbooks and patents.

Sean Sanders, Ph.D.

Washington, DC

Dr. Sanders did his undergraduate training at the University of Cape Town, South Africa, and his Ph.D. at the University of Cambridge, UK, supported by the Wellcome Trust. Following postdoctoral training at the National Institutes of Health and Georgetown University, Dr. Sanders joined TranXenoGen, a startup biotechnology company in Massachusetts working on avian transgenics. Pursuing his parallel passion for writing and editing, Dr. Sanders joined BioTechniques as an editor, before joining Science/AAAS in 2006. Currently Dr. Sanders is the Senior Editor for Custom Publishing for the journal Science and Program Director for Outreach.

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