Focus On: Cancer Modeling

Cancer Center Seminar Series-NCI-Designated Cancer Center
Alana Welm, Ph.D. and Alice Sorgani., Ph.D.

Date and time

May 10, 2021

10:00 AM - 11:15 AM PT



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We're bringing together two types of leaders in cancer research.



Alana Welm, Ph.D.
Senior Director of Basic Science
Professor, Department of Oncological Sciences
University of Utah, School of Medicine

"Using patient-derived models for drug discovery and functional precision oncology in advanced breast cancer"

The research in Dr. Welm’s laboratory is focused on solving the problem of breast cancer metastasis using in vivo modeling of mouse and human breast cancers. Dr. Welm’s group discovered that the Ron kinase pathway is an important facilitator of breast cancer metastasis through its unique dual function in tumor cells and in resident macrophages. Current areas of research include (1) pre-clinical studies of various Ron inhibitors for treatment and prevention of metastatic breast cancer; (2) pre-clinical and early clinical studies of Ron/Met inhibitors in bone metastatic cancers; (3) discovering molecular mechanisms by which Ron kinases promote metastasis through cell-autonomous and non cell-autonomous pathways; and (4) refining “precision medicine” for metastatic breast cancer using functional assays in patient-derived breast tumor grafts and organoid models.

Alice Sorgani, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, David Geffen School of Medicine
University of California Los Angeles