Doorstep meeting explores cancer from genome instability to therapy

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ASCB’s 2019 Doorstep meeting convenes Saturday, December 7, in Washington, DC, and focuses on “Cancer: from genome instability to therapy.”  This full-day meeting is being organized by Karlene Cimprich from Stanford University and David Pellman from Harvard Medical School and Dana Farber Cancer Institute.

Limited to just 200 attendees, ASCB’s Doorstep seeks to provide an intimate experience for all attendees with a more narrow research focus. Presenters are invited from the top experts on the themed research topic. The meeting also includes ample opportunities to network, including a poster session where researchers can get feedback from leaders in their discipline, roundtable discussions on select subtopics, and the chance to be chosen to speak.

Organizers’ vision

In Cimprich’s lab, the focus is on understanding how cells maintain genomic stability, with an emphasis on the DNA damage response. 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.

Alternatively, 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.

Additional speakers

Along with presentations by the organizers, the Doorstep will feature talks by these additional speakers:

  • Andrea Ablasser from École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland, who looks at the mechanisms of intracellular sensing of DNA—a fundamental strategy of innate immunity.
  • Irene Chiolo from the University of Southern California, who studies the mechanisms of DNA repair in heterochromatin.
  • Jan Lammerding of Cornell University, who investigates the intricate interplay between cellular structure, mechanics, and function through an interdisciplinary research approach combining engineering, microfabrication, and cell and molecular biology techniques.
  • James Chen from UT Southwestern, who wants to know how a cell detects harmful or foreign insults and mounts an appropriate response to restore homeostasis.
  • Serena Nik-Zainal at the University of Cambridge, UK, who seeks to advance the field of mutational signatures through computational innovations on the analyses of mutational signatures, through more sophisticated cell-based modeling.
  • Michael B. Yaffe of MIT, who is interested in signaling pathways and networks that control cell cycle progression and DNA damage responses in cancer and cancer therapy; and cross-talk between inflammation, cytokine signaling, and cancer.

Registration for the 2019 Doorstep is separate from the 2019 ASCB|EMBO Meeting; however, full meeting attendees receive a discount to attend the Doorstep. To get the discount, participants must either register for both meetings at the same time or be previously registered for the annual meeting before registering for the Doorstep.

About the Author:


Mary Spiro is ASCB's Science Writer and Social Media Manager.