Cancer: From genome instability to therapy



This doorstep symposium features leaders in genome instability and therapies who have studied mechanisms by which cancer cells respond.

This full-day symposium will take place on Saturday, December 7, 2019 in Washington, DC from 8:00 am – 4:15 pm. The meeting is being organized by Karlene Cimprich, Stanford University, and David Pellman, Harvard Medical School and Dana Farber Cancer Institute.



Karlene Cimprich

The Cimprich lab is focused on understanding how cells maintain genomic stability, with an emphasis on the DNA damage response (DDR). This is a complex, multi-faceted response that requires cells to sense the presence of DNA damage within the genome, as well as to “choose” and coordinate a range of downstream events and outcomes. These include effects on DNA repair, transcription, and DNA replication, as well as cell cycle arrest, apoptosis, and senescence.

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David Pellman

David Pellman studies normal cell division mechanisms and the cell division defects of cancer cells. He seeks to understand how cell division defects, particularly defects in mitosis, shape cancer genomes. His work may lead to the development of new therapeutic strategies for cancer.



Ablasser, Andrea

Andrea Ablasser

École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne

Andrea Ablasser studied Medicine at the University of Munich, GER, and received her MD in 2010. After a post-doctoral stay at the University of Bonn, GER, she joined the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Lausanne, CH, in 2014 as tenure-track assistant professor. Ablasser`s research focuses on mechanisms of intracellular sensing of DNA - a fundamental strategy of innate immunity.

yaffe, mike

Michael Yaffe


Michael B. Yaffe studies the chain of reactions that controls a cell’s response to stress, cell injury, and DNA damage. The goal of our research is to understand how signaling pathways are integrated at the molecular and systems level to control cellular responses.  We are particularly interested in: (1) signaling pathways and networks that control cell cycle progression and DNA damage responses in cancer and cancer therapy; and (2) cross-talk between inflammation, cytokine signaling and cancer.


Irene Chiolo

University of Southern California

Research in Professor Chiolo’s laboratory focuses on the mechanisms of DNA repair in heterochromatin. Using the Drosophila system, currently the best working model for heterochromatin repair studies, research in my lab aims to identify the mechanisms involved, and to address how they protect genome integrity at cellular and organismal levels. This research will ultimately contribute to our understanding of human diseases associated with genome instability, including cancer, aging, and developmental defects.


Jan Lammerding

Cornell University

In the Lammerding laboratory, we investigate this intricate interplay between cellular structure, mechanics and function through an interdisciplinary research approach that combines engineering principles, microfabrication, and cell and molecular biology techniques, as well as the development and application of novel experimental assays.

Nik-Zainal, Serena

Serena Nik-Zainal

University of Cambridge


Dr. Nik-Zainal is a CRUK Advanced Clinician Scientist and Honorary Consultant in Clinical Genetics in Cambridge, UK. Serena went to the UK as a PETRONAS scholar from Malaysia in 1993, obtaining a First in Physiology at the University of Cambridge before completing her medical degree in 2000. She trained as a physician and specialized in Clinical Genetics. She undertook a PhD at the Wellcome Sanger Institute in 2009 pioneering exploration of breast cancers through whole genome sequencing (WGS).



James Chen

UT Southwestern


Dr. Chen is a George L. MacGregor Distinguished Chair in Biomedical Science, director of the Inflammation Research Center, and a professor of molecular biology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.

"The amount of opportunity we had to network was unlike any other meeting I've ever experienced"

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