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Cancer Disparities

UMB Biology Department Spring 2011 Seminar Series

University of Massachusetts Boston Biology Department
Presents the Spring 2011 Seminar Series

Friday, January 28, 2011
2:30 p.m.

Small Science Auditorium S-1-006

Dr. Shannon Bailey
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Making use of the genome to understand estrogen receptor positive breast cancer

This seminar is co-sponsored by the NIH U54 Training Core and the NIH Emerging Technologies Continuing Umbrella Research Experiences (ET-CURE) training program
Hosted by Professor Michael Shiaris

Speaker:  Shannon T. Bailey, PhD, Department of Medical Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School
Dr. Bailey started his cancer research career as a high school student at Hahnemann University Hospital where he participated in lung cancer research in a summer program. He joined Dr. Mark Guiltinan's lab studying a transcription factor in maize at the Pennsylvania State University. While initially planning a career in medicine, the research caught his passion and he decided to become a biomedical research scientist. He also worked in the laboratory of Dr. Mitchell A. Lazar at the University of Pennsylvania focusing on the study of the activation of the nuclear hormone receptor PPARg by a class of anti-diabetic compounds known as thiazolidinediones (TZDs). In addition to the activation of PPARg, his research also involved the exploration of transcriptional targets suppressed by PPARg in response to TZDs in fat tissue. It was in these studies that he cloned and initially characterized the novel fat cell secreted hormone, resistin. Though much research still remains to establish the exact physiological function of resistin, this hormone has been shown to play a role in obesity-related diabetes.
He attended graduate school at Yale University in the Department of Cellular and Molecular Physiology in Dr. Sankar Ghosh's laboratory. Dr. Ghosh is a pioneer in the NF-kB field. NF-kB is a transcription factor that is important in many different biological contexts, including breast cancer. His dissertation focused on the nature of the constitutive NF-kB activity found in estrogen receptor negative breast cancer cells. The lab examined human mammary epithelial tumor cell lines to characterize their NF-kB activity using a number of different approaches.  They observed that NF-kB is highly active in estrogen receptor negative mammary epithelial cell lines and found that the primary signal that initiates this activation cascade may be DNA damage.
He is now at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute to continue to study breast cancer in the laboratory of Dr. Myles Brown. The Brown lab has made many contributions to the understanding of estrogen receptor biology as well as other nuclear hormone receptors. More recently, the lab has employed the use of the human genome to gain even more insight into how the estrogen receptor is regulated, potentially leading to new and better ways of treating breast cancer. Dr. Bailey's research in the Brown lab focuses on how the estrogen receptor influences the cell death process. In order for any cancer cell to grow, it must be able to circumvent physiological mechanisms that prevent abnormal growth. His research aims to identify the mechanism by which this occurs in ER positive breast cancer cells. Identifying how estrogen affects gene regulation in a breast cell is essential to providing better treatment of breast cancer. Combining the studies of estrogen receptor binding data, gene expression, and microRNA analysis promises to lead to an even greater understanding of not only estrogen receptor positive cancers but may also provide insight into other malignancies as well.
This seminar is co-sponsored by the NIH U54 Training Core and the NIH Emerging Technologies Continuing Umbrella Research Experiences (ET-CURE) training program
We particularly invite undergraduate students to attend the seminar and meet with Dr. Bailey at a reception following the seminar to share experiences and get tips for pursuing a career as a biomedical research scientist.
Reception to follow on Friday at 3:45 p.m. in Wheatley Conference Room