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Bioinformatics and Computational Biology's  Visiting Guest Lecture

Bioinformatics and Computational Biology's Visiting Guest Lecture

 The Department of Bioinformatics and Computational Biology invites you to attend a VISITING GUEST LECTURE

 

Josh Stuart, Ph.D.

Associate Professor,

Biomolecular Engineering

University of California, Santa Cruz

 

Topic:                 Pathway-based analysis of mutation impact

 

Location:            FC1.2002

             

Date:                   Wednesday, September 5, 2012

 

Time:                   11:00am-12:00pm

 

Abstract:             Genomic damage plays an important role in cancer onset and progression.  But how exactly do mutations, copy number changes, and epigenetic events affect the wiring of otherwise normal-functioning cellular pathways?  Genomic probing with technologies such as RNA sequencing, copy number profiling, and DNA promoter methylation arrays are providing unprecedented views of cells. Uncovering predictive models from these datasets to shed light on key disrupted pathways in cancer is a major challenge that could offer breakthroughs for personalized medicine.

I'll describe a new pathway-based strategy that gives insight into the functional impact of mutations in particular genes. The major mechanism by which cancer arises is through somatic mutations. Individual tumors can contain hundreds to thousands of mutations. It is critical to distinguish mutations that have an important role defining the cancer - driver mutations - from mutations that are unimportant to the tumor - passenger mutations. A pathway-based approach is able to detect a shift in the downstream effects of an altered gene compared to what is expected from its upstream regulatory input. Application to several datasets across multiple tissues revealed several important driver mutations even among rarely mutated genes. Thus, pathway analysis shows promise in differentiating driver and passenger events that will increase our understanding of cancer disease mechanisms, which can help identify novel targets for treatment.

Date: 9/5/12, 11am to 12:30pm
Time: 9/5/12, 11am to 12:30pm
Location: FC1.2002 AT&T Classroom (Faculty Center)
Format: Lecture
Facilitator: Roel Verhaak
Contact: Teresa Gonzales - 30299 - teresa.gonzales@mdanderson.org