DCI Seminar Series (11.16.16)

October 25, 2016
By: Julie Poucher Harbin, Writer, DCI

On Wednesday, Nov. 16, Julian Downward, PhD, associate research director of The Francis Crick Institute, London, will present “Mechanisms of transformation by RAS oncogenes: searching for novel therapeutic approaches.”

Downward carried out post-graduate work at the Imperial Cancer Research Fund in London with Mike Waterfield and post-doctoral work at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with Robert Weinberg before setting up his own lab in 1989 at the Imperial Cancer Research Fund. (The Fund subsequently became the Cancer Research UK London Research Institute and is now The Francis Crick Institute.) He is a Fellow of the Royal Society, a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences and a Member of the European Molecular Biology Organisation.

Downward’s work focuses on the role played by major oncogenes such as RAS and EGFR in human cancer. He established that EGFR is the product of the erbB proto-oncogene and was responsible for mapping out the signaling pathways linking EGFR to RAS and downstream of RAS to the MAP kinase and PI 3-kinase pathways. More recently he has worked on finding novel approaches to targeting RAS mutant lung cancers, including through exploiting synthetic lethality, and also understanding the effects of RAS signaling on suppression of the immune system’s response to the tumor.

The Nov. 16 DCI Seminar Series, presented by the DCI Tumor Biology Program, will be held at the Trent Semans Center, Great Hall. The Hematology Oncology Fellow presentation begins at 7:30 a.m. Downward will speak at 8:10 a.m.