Please join us online on Thursday 20th April, from 15.00-16.00
In this series of webinars brought to you by the Cancer Research UK Convergence Science Centre at Imperial College London and The Institute of Cancer Research, London, researchers across the two organisations will discuss key challenges facing cancer research and opportunities for new convergence science approaches to address these. Join us to consider how novel approaches and technologies could shed light on unresolved problems in cancer biology, to innovate new ways to address challenges in cancer and bring pioneering treatments to cancer patients faster.
Hosted by our Scientific Director, Professor Axel Behrens, the series aims to support the Centre's mission to facilitate collaboration between traditionally separate and distinct disciplines.
Please join us online on Thursday 20th April, from 15.00-16.00, for a talk from:
Professor Terry Rabbitts – Division of Cancer Therapeutics, the Institute of Cancer Research, London.
“Intracellular antibodies for drug discovery against hard-to-drug targets”
Chromosomal translocation-proteins and mutant RAS are among hard-to-drug proteins in cancer. Intracellular antibodies are a starting point as inhibitors via design to block protein-protein interactions. Intracellular antibodies can be engineered with effector functions such E3 ligases to create biodegraders to eliminate target proteins. The intracellular antibody binding site can also be used to screen for small molecule surrogates that form the basis of drug development. These approaches will be discussed targeting LMO2 in T-ALL and mutant RAS.
Prof. Terry Rabbitts is a molecular immunologist who trained at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology (LMB) in Cambridge as a post-doc with César Milstein. He is currently Professor of Molecular Immunology at the Institute of Cancer Research, London where he is developing new technologies to use intracellular antibodies and small molecular derivatives against the chromosomal translocation proteins and mutant RAS aimed at cures for leukaemia. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society, a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences and an EMBO Member and a Fellow of the American Association for Cancer Research Academy. He has been awarded the Colworth Medal, the CIBA Medal and the Clotten Foundation Prize in recognition for his work on chromosomal translocation genes in cancer aetiology and novel approaches to cancer drug discovery.
Professor Cristina Lo Celso – Department of Life Sciences, Imperial College London
"Battles in the bone marrow: acute myeloid leukaemia and immune cells"
Acute Myeloid Leukaemia remains one of the cancers with poorest clinical outcome due to its ability to develop resistance to multiple treatments. It is well-established that AML is composed of hierarchically heterogeneous cells, and Leukaemic Stem Cells (LSCs) maintain the overall population turnover, resist chemotherapy and drive relapse. Immune cell-mediated therapies have been gaining unprecedented attention, and it is well known that inflammation affects healthy haematopoietic stem cells. It is reasonable to expect that the interactions between AML cells and immune cells are complex. Using a combination of murine model, human samples and cell lines, in vivo, ex vivo and bioinformatics approaches we have recently explored how the AML stem cell compartment is affected by immune responses and, conversely, AML development hijacks myeloid cells to favour disease growth.
Cristina Lo Celso pioneered intravital microscopy of the haematopoietic stem cell (HSC) niche during her postdoctoral training at Harvard University. In 2009 she started her independent research group at Imperial College London, where she is now Professor of Stem Cell Biology in the department of Life Sciences, and co-director of the Centre for Haematology in the department of Immunology and Inflammation. Prof. Lo Celso also established a satellite laboratory at the Sir Francis Crick Institute. Her research aims to understand the mechanisms regulating HSC function during steady state and during stresses such as infections, leukaemia and transplantation. Her interdisciplinary approach combines mouse bone marrow intravital microscopy techniques, computational image analysis, molecular profiling and mathematical modelling of the HSC niche. Prof. Lo Celso’s publications have been cited over 7,000 times. She is the first woman to have received the Foulkes Medal award (2017); she received the ISEH New Investigator award in 2017, presented the DGZ Carl Zeiss Lecture 2018 and received the Royal Microscopical Society Life Sciences Medal 2019. She regularly engages in outreach activities and is keen to interact with the public, patients and industry.
Please note: This webinar is exclusively available to colleagues from the Institute of Cancer Research, the Royal Marsden, Imperial and Imperial College Healthcare. Do not forward to colleagues outside of these organisations.