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Benjamin Neel to Present 2020 Dr. Homer C. & Dr. Emily D. Weed Lecture

Dr. Benjamin Neel, Director of the Laura and Isaac Perlmutter Cancer Center and Professor of Medicine at NYU Langone Health, will present this year's Weed Lecture on the topic of "New Combination Therapies for Cancer" at 4 pm on Tuesday, March 10, 2020 in Koffler Room 218. The lecture is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.

Host: Dr. Wolfgang PetiDr. Homer C. & Dr. Emily Davis Weed Endowed Professor 

Persons with a disability may request a reasonable accommodation, such as a sign language interpreter, by contacting The Center for Disability Related Resources at (520) 621-3268 (V/TTY). Requests should be made as early as possible to allow time to arrange the accommodation.

Brief Abstract: The past 30 years of cancer research have yielded remarkable therapeutic advances along two main fronts. “Targeted therapies” were developed against oncogenic “driver” tyrosine and serine/threonine kinases or key downstream signaling components. Concomitantly, powerful new “immune therapies,” including cell therapies and “immune checkpoint inhibitors” (e.g., anti-CTLA4, anti-PD1, anti-PDL1), emerged. These new modalities complement or replace conventional chemo- and radiation therapy, and are literally lifesaving for some patients. Nevertheless, most patients with metastatic solid tumors still succumb to their disease.

Major barriers to new therapeutic development include the lack of active agents against key cancer driver genes, and the paucity experimental systems that adequately represent the genomics of human cancer in an immune competent setting. I will discuss several new combination therapies involving signal transduction inhibitors (RAS-G12C, SHP2, EGFR) pancreas and lung cancer, as well as the development of an entirely new genomically-informed fallopian tuber organoid-based platform for developing and evaluating therapies for high grade serous ovarian cancer.

About the Dr. Homer C. & Dr. Emily Davis Weed Endowed Lectureship: Kansas-born Homer Clyde Weed’s family moved to Arizona during the Depression. He eventually earned his undergraduate degree in chemistry from the UA, where he was captain of the track team during his senior year. He also was a member of Phi Beta Kappa, an honors organization. Weed went on to complete a doctorate in physical chemistry from Ohio State University. He began working as a physical chemist and geochemist for the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in 1957 and retired in 1991. He died in February 2005. Alabama-born Emily Davis Weed attended Vanderbilt University and Ohio State University, where she earned a doctorate in inorganic chemistry. She also studied chemistry and was a member of Phi Beta Kappa and Sigma Xi. She died in June 2005.