Northwestern Events Calendar


Department of Pharmacology Guest Speaker - Shobha Vasudevan, PhD

When: Monday, November 27, 2023
3:00 PM - 4:00 PM CT

Where: Ward Building, 5-230, 303 E. Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611 map it

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Student - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Contact: Melissa Daley  

Group: Department of Pharmacology Seminars

Category: Lectures & Meetings, Academic


Department of Pharmacology, Speaker: Shobha Vasudevan, PhD

Associate Professor, Department of Medicine, Harvard Medical School

Principal Investigator, Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center

"Post-transcriptional mechanisms of survival in quiescent cancer cells"

The Vasudevan laboratory focuses on the role of post-transcriptional mechanisms in clinically resistant quiescent cancer cells. Tumors demonstrate heterogeneity, harboring a small subpopulation that switch from rapid proliferation to a specialized, reversibly arrested state of quiescence that decreases their susceptibility to chemotherapy. Quiescent cancer cells resist conventional therapeutics and lead to tumor persistence, resuming cancerous growth upon chemotherapy removal. Their data revealed that quiescent cancer cells adapt to therapy stress, by altering post-transcriptional mechanisms, with modifications, noncoding RNAs, associated complexes and ribosomes, to express tumor survival genes that cause cancer persistence. These control vital genes in cancer and are important for chemoresistance and immune escape of quiescent cancer cells. The primary goal of their research is to characterize the specialized gene expression and their post-transcriptional regulators that underlie persistence of resistant cancer cells. A complementary focus is to develop a comprehensive understanding of the versatile roles of RNA mechanisms in cancer as a basis for detection of refractory cancers and as disease vulnerabilities for designing new therapies, collaboratively to curtail tumor persistence.

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