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Travel Grant Awardees

 Serina Cheung BiographyHYPTravelAwardRibbon 01

Serina Cheung is currently a second year MSc student in Dr. Marianne Koritzinsky’s lab. She is investigating the role of p38 mitogen-activation protein kinase in promoting the survival of castration-resistant prostate cancer under hypoxia. She will be presenting this work at the Keystone Symposia Tumor Metabolism conference in Banff, Alberta. 

AbstractIdentifying mechanisms that determine sensitivity to p38 MAPK inhibition in castration-resistant prostate cancer

Androgen receptor (AR) signaling is the major driver of castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC). Tumor hypoxia increases AR signaling and is associated with treatment resistance. p38 MAP kinase is involved in AR signaling by activating heat shock protein 27, a chaperone for AR translocation. Additionally, the activation of p38 has been found to be an early response to hypoxia. However, the role of p38 in AR signaling under hypoxia in CRPC has not been explored. In this study, we evaluated the role of p38 on AR signaling under hypoxia in CRPC cells. Our results demonstrate that p38 activation is an early response to hypoxia. Hypoxia increased ligand-dependent AR binding to androgen-responsive element and expression of AR target genes. Pharmacological p38 inhibition decreased the hypoxia-induced increase in AR activity. Additionally, pharmacological inhibition and siRNA knockdown of p38 decreased cell proliferation and survival in prostate cancer cells dependent on AR signaling for survival. These results suggest further investigation of p38 inhibition as a therapeutic strategy to disrupt AR signaling in CPRC.

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Hypoxia and the Hallmarks of Cancer: Metabolic Reprogramming

Hanahan and Weinberg’s seminal papers on the Hallmarks of Cancer describe how cancer cells accommodate the frenzied growth characteristic of tumors. Low oxygen is eminently characteristic of tumors, and in this hypoxic environment, metabolism is reprogrammed to satisfy energetic and synthetic needs of the cells.

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Scientists save child’s life by growing him new skin

By Angela Chen for the Verge.com
Click here to read the original article on Verge.com

Doctors created enough skin to cover 80 percent of the body of a seven-year-old boy with a genetic disease — and it saved his life.

This isn’t the first time that doctors have used genetic engineering to grow new skin, but past attempts only grew a little bit. This time, doctors were able to cover nine square feet of the patient’s body. The boy, who has a genetic skin disease called junctional epidermolysis bullosa (JEB), had been expected to die. Now, two years after the surgery, he lives a normal life and is able to play sports and exercise, the doctors say. The results were published today in the journal Nature.

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Culturing Cells in Ambient Air, or Normoxia, is Far From Physiological

Based on the premise that the physiological range of oxygen in tissues is between 1- 8%, and pathologies from cancer to diabetes are characterized by much lower oxygen levels, researchers worldwide are cultivating their cell cultures in the HypOxystation by Don Whitley Scientific. The HypOxystation provides physiologically relevant conditions for cell culture and manipulation to ensure authentic behavior of cells. User-defined parameters for temperature, CO2, O2 and humidity, plus the workstation format, where cells reside throughout the entire duration of the assays, minimize the extra-physiologic oxygen shock that is known to negatively impact cell metabolism and growth.

Read more: Culturing Cells in Ambient Air, or Normoxia, is Far From Physiological

Hypoxia and the Hallmarks of Cancer: Sustaining Growth and Resisting Cell Death

Of all the “Hallmarks of Cancer” defined by Hanahan and Weinberg, the ability to proliferate indefinitely is often considered to be the most central to cancer’s core features. Sustaining Growth and Resisting Cell Death enable cancer cells to override signaling that ensures normal tissues’ homeostasis of numbers and size. Previous chapters in our mini-series on “Hypoxia and the Hallmarks of Cancer” have showcased Avoiding Immune Destruction and Tumor Promoting Inflammation and Genome Instability and Mutation and Enabling Replicative Immortality as well as Inducing Angiogenesis and Activating Invasion and Metastasis.

Read more: Hypoxia and the Hallmarks of Cancer: Sustaining Growth and Resisting Cell Death