University of California San Francisco
Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center

Renowned Cancer Virologists to Deliver Annual Sokolow Lectureship

By Karen Gehrman | cancer.ucsf.edu | October 12, 2017

Renowned Cancer Virologists to Deliver Annual Sokolow Lectureship

Dr. Yuan Chang is a Distinguished Professor of Pathology in the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. Dr. Patrick Moore is Director of the Cancer Virology Program at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute.

Two of the sharpest minds in the field of cancer virology are scheduled to present the Maurice, Ethel, and Jane Sokolow Memorial Cancer Endowment Lectureship at the HDFCCC on October 25th and 26th. Yuan Chang, MD, and Patrick S. Moore, MD, MPH, from the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, will deliver the much-anticipated annual grand rounds and lecture. Over the past four decades the Sokolow Lectureship has brought scores of internationally recognized cancer researchers to UCSF.  
 
A research team since 1994, Chang and Moore are leaders in the study of cancer virology.  Their lab focuses on basic biological investigations into how cells become cancerous and epidemiologic/clinical research on cancers caused by viruses. They co-discovered the skin cancer Merkel cell carcinoma as well as two different human viruses causing the AIDS-related cancer Kaposi's sarcoma. 
 
On Wednesday, Oct. 25th, Moore will present "Two sides of the same coin: viral tumors and immune evasion" at 4pm at Byers Auditorium in Mission Bay.

On Thursday, Oct. 26th, Chang will deliver the grand rounds lecture "Viruses: the forgotten causes of cancer" at noon in HSW-300 at Parnassus.

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“Discovery of viruses as a cause of cancer dates back over 100 years ago to one of the first viruses identified: Rous sarcoma virus linked to tumors in chickens. The subsequent search for infectious causes of human cancer has since revealed seven viruses associated with tumor development,” noted Jay Levy, MD, pioneer AIDS and cancer researcher at UCSF.  “Drs. Chang and Moore have identified two of these viruses in the recent past. Their discoveries have placed further attention on other possible infectious causes of human malignancies.”
 
Recent research published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences announced their discovery of a new mechanism that could explain how the Merkel Cell Polyomavirus, responsible for the most aggressive form of skin cancer, can stay dormant for decades after infection but then reemerge to cause cancer. Their work with human herpesvirus 8 (KSHV/HHV8) landed them on a short list of American cancer researchers considered leading contenders for the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, a list which included 2014 Sokolow speaker Jim Allison, PhD. 
 
“Over the years, the Sokolow Lectureship has brought some of the best minds in cancer research to UCSF. It is a privilege and an honor for the cancer center to host this prestigious event that bears the name of the Sokolow family,” said HDFCCC President Alan Ashworth, PhD, FRS. “We thank them for helping us in our mission of educating generations of cancer researchers.”
 
Cardiologist Maurice Sokolow, MD, a pioneer of modern clinical treatment of hypertension, was a creative researcher, respected teacher, and beloved member of the UCSF community from 1936 until 2002.  The lectureship began as a visiting scientist program, funded by families, classmates and friends, in honor of his wife and daughter who died of  cancer in 1970.   The lectureship was renamed the Maurice, Ethel, and Jane Sokolow Memorial Cancer Endowment Lectureship after Dr. Sokolow’s death in 2002.  The Sokolow family attends the lecture each year.
 
Since the series began in 1976, the 28 featured speakers reflect an impressive range of influence on cancer research over the past four decades. The inaugural lecturer, Renato Delbucco, MD (1976) had just received the 1975 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his work on oncoviruses. Elwood Jenson, PhD (1982) isolated estrogen receptors and discovered their importance in breast cancer. Eric Lander, PhD (2008) was named in 2004 one of Time magazine's 100 most influential people  for his work on the Human Genome Project. Robert Weinberg, PhD (2011) discovered the first human oncogene Ras and the first tumor suppressor gene Rb. 
 
Past lecturers include Nobel Laureates George E. Palade, MD (1983) and Harald zur Hausen, DSc, MD (2008), several Lasker and Shaw Prize winners, two former AACR presidents, five recipients of the Zuckerberg-Chan-funded Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences, and numerous IOM, NAS, and AAAS members and fellows.  The HDFCCC is delighted to include Drs. Chang and Moore in this esteemed list of speakers.
 
All are welcome and refreshments will be served.  Click here to register for one or both lectures.
Both lectures will be live streamed for remote viewing.