Early Detection Special Seminar: Cellular and molecular characterisation of epithelial tumour initiation

Date: Friday 6th March 2020
Time: 10:00 - 11:00
Venue: Sackler Lecture Theatre, Cambridge Institute for Medical Research (level 7), Cambridge Biomedical Campus

Dr Walid Khaled is currently a University Lecturer, in the Department of Pharmacology at the University of Cambridge and will give a special seminar for the Early Detection Programme. We encourage you to attend.

Talk Abstract:

My research focus is driven by the fact that we still have little understanding of how hundreds of identified genetic aberrations impact tissue homeostasis leading to tumour development. While hugely significant, work to date on large-scale sequencing efforts and a handful of well-characterised mutations has barely scratched the surface and the early stages of precancer tumour development remains poorly understood. Yet, it has a huge potential to improve success rates of early detection, prevention and treatment of cancer. Recent sequencing studies of normal tissue suggest that acquiring putative oncogenic drivers is not sufficient to initiate tumour development. This points towards elements, such as the cell of origin, differentiation state and the microenvironment, all playing a key role in mediating tumour initiation. In this talk I will discuss the works my laboratory has been doing on defining the early cellular and molecular events that drive tumour initiation and development. In particular, we focus on how the cell of origin affects the differentiation trajectory of nascent tumour cells and dictates changes in the microenvironment thus enabling tumour growth and immune evasion. I will show how such studies can be used to for the development of new approaches for the early detection of tumour initiation.

Speaker bio:
Dr Khaled did his PhD in Cambridge with Prof. Christine Watson, Dept. Pathology working on mammary gland development. He was then awarded a JRF from Kings College Cambridge and moved to the Sanger Institute as a Postdoc working with Dr. Pentao Liu to work on the role of BCL11A in breast cancer. In 2014 he was awarded CRUK Career Establishment Award and moved to the Department of Pharmacology to setup is own lab. His lab focuses on understanding the early cellular and molecular changes associate with tumour initiation using GEMMs and single cell genomics.