Confirmed international speakers

Prof Maria Jasin  is a molecular biologist and a professor at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York. She is known for her groundbreaking research on DNA repair mechanisms, particularly homologous recombination, which is essential for maintaining genomic stability and preventing cancer development. Her work has led to a better understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying DNA repair, which has implications for cancer therapy and genetic engineering. Prof Jasin is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and has received numerous awards for her contributions to the field, including the Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences.
Prof Peter Sicinski – a cancer researcher and a professor of genetics at Harvard Medical School. His research focuses on the molecular mechanisms that regulate the cell cycle, particularly the role of cyclin-dependent kinases (CDKs) in cancer. His work has led to a better understanding of the pathways that drive tumor growth and has contributed to the development of new cancer therapies targeting CDKs. Prof Sicinski has published numerous groundbreaking papers on cancer cell biology and has received numerous awards and honors for his contributions to the field, including the Outstanding Investigator Award from the National Cancer Institute.
Prof Roger Greenberg (U Penn) is the Director of Basic Science, Basser Research Center for BRCA and the director of the Penn Center for Genome Integrity at the University of Pennsylvania. His research is devoted to understanding basic mechanisms of DNA repair and their impact on genome integrity, cancer etiology and response to targeted therapies. To investigate these interrelationships, he elucidates the BRCA1- and BRCA2- dependent homologous recombination mechanisms in breast and ovarian cancer, telomere length maintenance mechanisms that rely on a specialized form of homologous recombination, and DNA damage induced activation of immune responses to cancer. 

Prof Eiji Hara (Osaka University in Japan) is a world-leader in understanding the mechanisms of cellular senescence, a process by which cells permanently stop dividing and enter a state of growth arrest. Prof Hara’s work has contributed significantly to the understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying senescence, particularly the role of chromatin dynamics and epigenetic regulation in senescence-associated gene expression. His research has also identified potential targets for the development of novel cancer therapies and therapies for age-related diseases.
Prof Sharon Savage (NCI, USA) is a physician-scientist and a professor at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) in the United States. She is known for her expertise in the genetics and treatment of telomere biology disorders (TBD). Prof Savage’s research has focused on identifying the genetic and molecular basis TBD, and developing novel treatments for these disorders. Her work has led to the discovery of new genes associated with IBMFS and TBD, as well as the development of new treatment approaches, including the use of telomerase activators.

Prof Ross Chapman (Oxford) studies mechanisms of genetic recombination, and in particular, the role of the major DNA double strand break repair pathways. His group is interested in how cells and different tissues strike an appropriate equilibrium between accurate and mutagenic DNA repair mechanisms, as a means to understand why faults in this regulation lead to cancer and immune-deficiency disorders. An end goal will be to devise innovative strategies to exploit these faults in cancer therapies.

Prof Tracy Bryan (CMRI) discovered the ALT mechanism for maintenance of the ends of chromosomes (telomeres) in human tumours, which is now a major target in development of new cancer therapies. Her lab also works to determine the mechanisms of telomerase function using biochemical and cell-based approaches, with the aim of developing telomerase inhibitors as cancer therapeutics, and determining disease mechanism and developing novel therapies in patients with telomerase insufficiency disorders leading to bone marrow failure.

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