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Monthly Meeting: A Scientist’s Quest To Understand Metastatic Cancer

  • Sep 16, 2013 · 7:30 PM

Our September monthly meeting features a return visit from USNH member and Yale cancer researcher Dr. John Pawelek.

 John says of his talk “Twenty years ago, on a rainy Saturday morning in February, I was in my office perusing cancer journals—a survival exercise shared by colleagues around the world in our collective need to keep abreast of ‘the literature.’ I came upon a letter-to-the-editor from three Czechoslovakian scientists with the surprising question as to whether metastasis occurs when cancer cells fuse with white blood cells. From that point on I have devoted my career to this question. This summer I, along with co-authors from Yale, the University of Colorado, and the Denver Police Crime Lab, detailed the first proof that this was indeed the mechanism of metastasis in at least one human being and probably many more. In this presentation I will give a personal account of this unexpected journey and the potential impact of our discovery on cancer therapies of the future.”

John Pawelek, PhD is a long-time member of the research faculty in the Department of Dermatology and the Yale Cancer Center, Yale School of Medicine. His research interests focus on cancer cell fusion with migratory white blood cells as a mechanism of metastasis. He has authored nearly 200 peer-reviewed papers and is past president of the Pan American Society for Pigment Cell Research. He has won several awards, including the PASPCR Career Achievement Award, the IFPCS inaugural award of the Henry Stanley Raper Medal, and the Japanese Society for Pigment Cell Research award of the Takeuchi Medal. He was honored in June, 2010 when the inaugural “John M. Pawelek Lecture” was presented at the 4th Meeting of the Asian Society for Pigment Cell Research, Guanzhou, China. He frequently lectures at scientific conferences in the US and abroad.

We’ll start with thirty minutes of coffee and conversation at 7:30 p.m. The talk will follow brief announcements at 8:00 PM.

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