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Dr. Mazhar Aldi delivers CRS's New Year's Lecture

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On January 15th, CRS welcomed Dr. Mazhar Adli, PhD, Associate Professor in at the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Robert Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center at Feinberg School of Medicine for the CRS New Year’s Lecture, kicking of 2021 with a showcase of his group’s innovative and translational research in understanding cancer progression and developing cancer therapies.

CRS’s collaborative collective, an attendance of over 50 members, were treated to a amazing lecture titled “Understanding and targeting genome regulation with CRISPR” focused on developing new strategies and identifying novel targets for cancer treatment. Dr. Aldi’s presented his team’s work on using Crispr for cutting edge high throughput functional genomic screenings to understand the gene and epigenetic changes that occur in malignant cancers as well as drug screening tactics that are aimed at developing the next lines of cancer therapeutics. The term cancer encompasses a collection of related diseases whose characteristics vary by tissue and cell type and developing targeted therapies that are aimed at isolating those malignant cells without damaging the healthy tissues is at the front line of cancer therapeutics development. Dr. Adli has chosen to tackle some of the most challenging cancer subtypes, such as pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma and ovarian cancer, cancers with poor prognosis and late detection. By identifying novel signaling pathways that contribute to tumor growth and metastasis, Dr. Adli’s aims to not only identify new tumor suppressor genes but also how they are epigenetically controlled in cancer cells. Additionally, they provide insight on the development of new therapeutic strategies to overcome limitations on currently available strategies by identifying novel inhibitors that would be sensitize cells or address drivers of chemoresistance in certain types of cancer.

Dr. Adli’s great presentation highlighted that his team is the vanguard of cancer biology and invigorated the CRS to mirror their great science and innovation. With the start of a new year and with a great example in Dr. Aldi, let us invigorate our minds and push the boundaries of each of our respective fields to new and more innovative frontiers.