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Monday, May 15, 2023

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THE FIRST CELL and the human costs of pursuing cancer to the last

We are pleased to announce that we have confirmed a new date to be joined by Prof. Azra Raza. The seminar will be held online on Monday 15th May 2-3.30pm UK time. This seminar is being organised as a collaboration with the TIA Centre Seminar Series, Health GRP and Warwick Cancer Centre.

Speaker: Prof. Azra Raza

Affiliation: Columbia University Medical Center, New York, USA

Zoom link: opens in a new window

Title: THE FIRST CELL and the human costs of pursuing cancer to the last

Abstract: Cancer will strike 1 in 2 men and 1 in 3 women. Yet, we are failing spectacularly to improve outcome for the majority of patients. Our contention is that the real solution to the cancer problem is to diagnose cancer early, at the stage of The First Cell. The footprints of early cancers, the surrogate biomarkers, need to be identified so we can detect the first cell. The rapidly evolving technologies are doing much in this area but need to be expanded. We study a pre-leukemic condition called myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) with the hope that we can detect the first leukemia cells as the disease transforms to acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Towards this end, we have collected blood and bone marrow samples on MDS and AML patients since 1984. Today, our Tissue Repository has more than 60,000 samples. We propose novel methods to identify surrogate markers that can identify the First Cell through studying the serial samples of patients who evolve from MDS to AML.


Bio: Azra Raza is the Chan Soon-Shiong Professor of Medicine and co-Director of the Edward P. Evans Foundation MDS Center at Columbia University. A practicing oncologist seeing 30-40 cancer patients weekly, she also directs a cancer research lab. Raza has collected >60,000 samples from thousands of her patients. She has delivered lectures on science, medicine, poetry and literature, and serves as an Editor on the website 3QuarksDaily posting daily for the last 16 years. Raza met with Vice President Biden to plan the Cancer Moonshot and with President Bill Clinton for 3-day Breakthroughs in Science and Technology Retreat. She is the author of a bestselling book, THE FIRST CELL: And the human costs of pursuing cancer to the last. She and her daughter Sheherzad live in Manhattan.