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Wed., April 28, 2010, 2 p.m. NSERL 3.204












“Dissection of Transcriptional Regulatory Networks in Cancer”
Dr. Ralf Kittler, UT Southwestern Medical Center

In cancer cells the normal balance between tumor suppressive and oncogenic gene networks is impaired, which enables cancer cells to proliferate abnormally, evade apoptosis and metastasize. Thus cancer is ultimately a disease of deregulated gene expression, and therefore the understanding of cancer-specific genetic programs is key for the development of new diagnostic, prognostic and therapeutic strategies. My lab takes genomics approaches to decipher the functions of putative cancer-relevant transcription factors in prostate and breast cancer. In this talk I will present a study of the genomic functions of 38 transcription factors in breast cancer cells. We combined analyses of the genomic binding sites of these transcription factors, epigenetic, gene expression and clinical outcome data to make specific predictions about the functional interaction of multiple transcription factors in the regulation of cancer-relevant gene networks and to propose novel strategies for the treatment of breast cancer.

Ralf Kittler is an assistant professor at UT Southwestern with his primary appointment at the Eugene McDermott Center for Growth and Development. His primary areas of interest are genomics, transcriptional regulation, nuclear receptors and cancer biology. He holds a master’s degree in biochemistry from the University of Leipzig, and he earned his PhD in cell biology and genetics from Dresden University of Technology in 2006. He is a John L. Roach Scholar in Biomedical Research through UT Southwestern’s Endowed Scholars Program in Medical Research and a CPRIT Scholar in Cancer Research through the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas.