Wednesday, February 05, 2020
BMS Divisional Seminar by Professor Lawrence Young, Dr Samuel Dean, Division of Biomedical Sciences, Warwick Medical School, University of WarwickGLT2, Warwick Medical School
Professor Lawrence Young
Dissecting the role of the tumour microenvironment in EBV-associated nasopharyngeal carcinoma
Abstract: The cancer mass represents a dynamic landscape where a heterogenous population of tumour cells interact with a variety of infiltrating host cells, extracellular matrix proteins and secreted factors. This tumour microenvironment (TME) influences the development, growth and spread of cancer while also shaping therapeutic responses. Nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) is an undifferentiated tumour with an extensive but ill-defined TME comprising infiltrating T cells, NK cells, macrophages and fibroblasts. The precise role of the TME on the growth and invasiveness of NPC is unknown but it is likely that these infiltrating cells provide an essential support to the growth and survival of the tumour cells. The unique geographic distribution of NPC in China and South-East Asia, along with the presence of latent Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection in every tumour cell, provide insights into the aetiology of this particular malignancy. The TME may support the maintenance of stable EBV infection in carcinoma cells and create an immune suppressive milieu that facilitates immune evasion. Better definition of the TME in NPC and its relationship to EBV infection will improve our understanding of NPC pathogenesis and support the development of novel therapeutic and preventative interventions.
Dr Samuel Dean
Flagellum composition and function in protozoan parasites
Abstract - Trypanosomatids are microscopic vector-borne parasites that cause wide-spread human and animal diseases. They currently infect ~17 million people, kill 80,000 people annually and are a terrible agricultural and economic burden upon developing counties. There is an urgent need for new therapies because no vaccines are available and existing drugs are often ineffective and toxic.