A Researcher Live Series

Strides in Cancer Research

 

April 2022

#CancerResearcherLIVE

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Programme

Topic Date
T cell homing in cancer immunotherapy: challenges and opportunities with Prof Ann Ager, Cardiff University 7th April, 10am BST
Preclinical bone cancer research with Dr Luke Tattersall,  University of Sheffield

21st April, 10am BST

The shape of you: Using AI, bioengineering, and statistical cell biology to understand how changes in cell morphogenesis drive cancer with Prof Chris Bakal, Institute of Cancer Research 27th April, 4pm BST
Mesothelioma. The evolving treatment landscape and future directions with Prof Dean Fennell, University of Leicester 29th April, 10am BST

 

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T cell homing in cancer immunotherapy: challenges and opportunities with Prof Ann Ager

Dr Ann Ager gained a PhD from Cambridge University studying inflammatory responses in vascular endothelial cells and trained in microvascular endothelial cell biology with Professor Judah Folkman at Harvard Medical School during her post-doctoral studies. In 1983 she moved to the Department of Immunology, University of Manchester as a postdoctoral fellow working with Professor Bill Ford and started what has become her life-long interests in specialised high endothelial venule (HEV) blood vessels and T-cell homing in health and disease.

She gained an MRC Senior Fellowship in Manchester before moving to a Principal Investigator position at the MRC National Institute for Medical Research, London in 1992 where she began working on L-selectin/CD62L.  In 2007 she moved to the Division of Infection and Immunity, Cardiff University as a Reader and was awarded a personal chair in 2018. Since moving to Cardiff, her research has focused on T-cell trafficking in diseases such as virus infection, cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease.


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Preclinical bone cancer research with Dr Luke Tattersall

Dr Luke Tattersall graduated with a First Class honours degree in Biomedical Sciences with a year of industrial placement in 2015. He completed his Bone Cancer Research Trust-funded PhD focusing on osteosarcoma research in 2019.

During his PhD, he received 3 awards from the Bone Research Society, carried out a travelling fellowship at the University of Ferrara Italy, spoke about bone cancer on TV and was an invited speaker at the International Purine meeting in Brazil. He has research experience with both in vitro and in vivo preclinical models of the disease. He is now a post-doctoral researcher and has continued to research bone cancers in the lab of Prof Allie Gartland. Prof Gartland and Dr Luke Tattersall are passionate about improving the lives of primary bone cancer patients with the development of new therapeutics. 


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The shape of you: Using AI, bioengineering, and statistical cell biology to understand how changes in cell morphogenesis drive cancer with Prof Chris Bakal

Dr Chris Bakal studies the biological switches that cause cells to change shape, become cancerous and spread around the body. Dr Bakal is the Leader of the Dynamical Cell Systems Team within the Division of Cancer Biology at The Institute of Cancer Research. Dr Bakal’s team aims to understand how normal and cancerous cells can adopt different shapes and why metastatic cancer develops in some people but not others.

Dr Bakal received his PhD in Medical Biophysics at the University of Toronto and the Ontario Cancer Institute. He joined Harvard Medical School and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute as a postdoctoral fellow in 2004. In 2006, he also became an affiliate of the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, as well as an affiliate of the Broad Institute. He devised an automated computer programme used to recognise the shape of cells and infer the corresponding genetic alterations that have occurred in the cell.

Dr Bakal has received several awards including the Dorsett L. Spurgeon Award in 2007 as the top postdoctoral fellow at Harvard Medical School. In 2009, he received an Outstanding Research Award from Nature Biotechnology. 


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Mesothelioma. The evolving treatment landscape and future directions with Prof Dean Fennell

After basic specialist training at UCL, Hammersmith, Brompton, Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospitals in London, Prof Dean Fennell obtained membership of the Royal College of Physicians, followed by a PhD in Oncology as a MRC Clinical research fellow in UCL. He completed training in Medical Oncology at St Bartholomew’s Hospital and then undertook back-to-back Cancer Research UK (CRUK) Clinician Scientist Fellowships based at the CRUK Centre in Belfast. He was elected fellow of the Royal College of Physicians (London) in 2007. He also served two terms on the board of the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC), led a translational research laboratory and international clinical trials portfolio focused on translating novel precision medicine strategies from the lab to the clinic.

He is the current president of the International Mesothelioma interest group, co-chairing the global meeting in the UK in 2016. He was also a planning committee member of the 2016 International  Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC) world lung cancer conference. He has written more than 100 publications in journals including Lancet, Lancet Oncology, Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, Nature Communications and Journal of the National Cancer Institute.