Sokolow Memorial Cancer Endowment Lecture to Feature Systems Biologist

By UCSF Today | September 30, 2009

Lewis Cantley, PhD, director of the Cancer Center at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and professor of systems biology at Harvard Medical School, will deliver the Maurice, Ethel and Jane Sokolow Memorial Cancer Endowment Lectureship on Wednesday, Oct. 21.

The Sokolow lecture, titled "Role of PI3-kinase in Cancer Metabolism," is scheduled from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in Genentech Hall, Byers Auditorium at the UCSF Mission Bay campus.

The Cantley lab studies the biochemical pathways that regulate mammalian cell growth and the defects that cause cell transformation. In the mid-1980s, Cantley's focus on the biochemical mechanisms of cellular responses to hormones and growth factors led to his lab's discovery of the PI3K signaling pathway.

His subsequent investigations have focused on characterizing the mechanism by which PI3K is activated by growth factors and oncogenes and elucidating pathways downstream of PI3K, including the AKT/PKB signaling pathway. In the course of this work, Cantley and colleagues developed an oriented peptide library approach that has revealed the structural basis for regulated interaction of signaling proteins and has also led to a bioinformatics approach for predicting signaling pathways on the basis of gene sequences.

Cantley joined the faculty of Harvard Medical School in 1992, when he was also appointed chief of the Division of Signal Transduction in the Department of Medicine at Beth Israel Hospital. He earned his PhD from Cornell University and completed his postdoctoral work at Harvard.

The lectureship is named after the late cardiologist Maurice Sokolow, MD, a pioneer of modern clinical treatment of hypertension and a creative researcher, respected teacher, and beloved member of the UCSF community from 1936 until 2002.

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