Focus On: Cancer Signaling

J. Silvio Gutkind, Ph.D. and Matt Hangauer, Ph.D.
Cancer Center Seminar Series-NCI-Designated Cancer Center
J.Silvio Gutkind, Ph.D. and Matt Hangauer, Ph.D.

Date and time

January 31, 2022

10:00 AM - 11:15 AM PT



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

Seminar Flyer


Seminar Recording


J. Silvio Gutkind, Ph.D.
Distinguished Professor and Chair
Department of Pharmacology
UC San Diego School of Medicine

Associate Director Basic Science
Moores Cancer Center
UC San Diego

“Signaling Networks in Tumor Growth and Immune Evasion: New Multimodal Precision Immunotherapies”

Dr. Gutkind is a Distinguished Professor and Chair, Department of Pharmacology, School of Medicine, and Associate Director for Basic Science at the Moores Cancer Center, University of California San Diego. He received his Ph.D. in pharmacy and biochemistry from the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina, and after his post-doctoral training at the NIMH and NCI, he joined the NIDCR, NIH. He served as the Chief of the Oral and Pharyngeal Cancer Branch, NIDCR, NIH, since 1998 until his recruitment to UCSD in 2015. 

His research team is exploiting the emerging information on dysregulated signaling circuitries and individual genomic and molecular alterations to develop new precision therapies to prevent and treat cancer, and to identify novel multimodal strategies to enhance the response to cancer immunotherapies. His research team has pioneered the study of G proteins and G protein coupled receptors in human malignancies. As part of his translation efforts, Dr. Gutkind has led a multi institutional clinical trial establishing the benefits of treating oral cancer patients with mTOR inhibitors, and he is co-leading a new mTOR-targeting chemoprevention medicine trial in oral premalignancy. His laboratory has recently launched a new effort exploring multimodal precision immunotherapy approaches for cancer prevention and treatment.

His honors include the NIH Merit Award, the Elliot Osserman Award from the Israel Cancer Research Foundation, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) Research & Hope Award, the Distinguished Scientist Award from the International Association of Dental Research (IADR), and the election as the Chair, Division of Molecular Pharmacology, American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics (ASPET). He was elected in 2019 to the National Academy of Medicine, recognizing his team’s translational efforts in the area of cancer signaling. He has published over 500 research articles in some of the most prestigious journals. He has supervised and mentored many junior investigators, who are now playing leadership roles in multiple institutions in the United States and abroad. In recognition of his dedication to education and mentorship, Dr. Gutkind is the 2021 recipient of the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Postdoctoral Scholar Mentoring. 

Matt Hangauer, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Department of Dermatology
UC San Diego School of Medicine

“Cancer Persister Cells”

Matt was born in New Jersey and grew up in Buffalo, NY. He got his start in science research while in high school working in his father’s medicinal chemistry lab at the University at Buffalo. He then attended Vanderbilt as an undergraduate and majored in chemistry, performing chemical biology research in Ned Porter’s lab. For his Ph.D. in Chemistry, Matt attended UC Berkeley where he worked in Carolyn Bertozzi’s lab focusing on developing fluorogenic imaging reagents compatible with click chemistry. Matt did his postdoc at UCSF joint mentored by Michael McManus and Frank McCormick. During his postdoc, he first focused on a genomics project in which he surveyed the extent of transcription of the human genome and developed a catalogue of human lncRNAs. Then, shifting his focus to cancer biology, Matt discovered that cancer persister cells are vulnerable to death by ferroptosis and co-founded a company, Ferro Therapeutics, focused on developing a therapeutic approach to induce ferroptosis in tumors. Most recently, Matt began his current position as an Assistant Professor at UCSD in the fall of 2018 in the Department of Dermatology where his lab focuses on deciphering the mechanisms which underlie cancer acquired resistance to therapy.

Matt has won a variety of awards including a Goldwater scholarship (undergraduate), NDSEG fellowship (graduate), Susan G. Komen postdoctoral fellowship, Melanoma Research Alliance Young Investigator Award and V Scholar Award among others.