Preeminent scientists present at SBP’s Cancer Metabolism Symposium

| Written by Susan Gammon
Annual Symposium

SBP’s 4th Cancer Metabolism Symposium attracted nearly 150 attendees—all eager to learn more about how the nation's top-tier cancer scientists are looking to target tumor metabolism.

Research on cancer metabolism is critical to identify new therapeutic targets to starve tumors of the fuels and building blocks they need to grow. Recognition and understanding of the impact of cancer metabolism will increasingly and positively affect the development of novel anti-cancer therapeutics.

The event featured 21 speakers who presented the latest concepts and models in the field of tumor metabolism, which expands to other areas of cancer biology, including microenvironment, immunometabolism and cell bioenergetics. All of the presentations addressed fundamental mechanisms of cancer as well as how this emerging field of science is impacting translational research and personalized medicine. 

“It’s an honor to host the top experts in the field and discuss what we know about metabolic wiring in tumors and their environment,” said Jorge Moscat, Ph.D., conference co-organizer and director and professor of the Cancer Metabolism and Signaling Networks Program at SBP. "These events will lead us to strategies to exploit tumor vulnerabilities and better ways to treat cancer.”

Keynote speaker M. Celeste Simon, Ph.D., who studies cancer metabolism and the influence of oxygen availability on tumor growth, presented her recent data on “Metabolic Symbiosis in the Hypoxic Tumor Microenvironment.” Simon, a recipient of a National Cancer Institute Outstanding Investigator Award, is a leader in biomedical research on cancer metabolism, specifically renal cancer, which is one of the 10 most common cancers in both men and women. She is scientific director of the Abramson Family Cancer Research Institute of the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.

“These conferences are important because they give scientists an opportunity to share new ideas and promote collaborations that can enhance accelerated discovery and development of new therapeutic approaches to target cancer metabolism,” says conference co-organizer Maria Diaz-Meco, Ph.D., professor in the Cancer Metabolism and Signaling Networks Program at SBP.

Robert Abraham, Ph.D., Pfizer Worldwide Research & Development, represented the industry side of research with a presentation titled “Probing Cancer Metabolism with Cancer Drugs.”

Academic biomedical research institute speakers were represented by the Symposium’s organizers, Moscat and Diaz-Meco; and a broad range of acknowledged leaders in cancer research, including Ronald DePinho, M.D. (MD Anderson Cancer Center); Ramon Parsons, M.D., Ph.D. (Mount Sinai); John Blenis, Ph.D. (Weill Cornell Medicine); Reuben Shaw, Ph.D. (Salk Institute); Eileen White, Ph.D. (Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey); Tak Wah Mak, Ph.D. (University of Toronto and The Campbell Family); Alec Kimmelman, M.D., Ph.D. (NYU Langone Health); Karen Vousden, Ph.D. (The Crick Institute); Ralph J. DeBerardinis, M.D., Ph.D. (University of Texas SW Medical Center); Roberto Zoncu, Ph.D. (UC Berkeley); Christian Metallo, Ph.D. (UC San Diego); Douglas Green, Ph.D. (St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital; Matthew Vander Heiden, M.D., Ph.D. (David H. Koch Institute at MIT); Dafna Bar-Sagi, Ph.D. (NYU Langone Health); Michael Karin, Ph.D. (UC San Diego); Jeffrey Rathmell, Ph.D. (Vanderbilt University); and Davide Ruggero, Ph.D. (UC San Francisco).

“We wish to thank all the speakers, attendees and support staff that helped pull this amazing conference together,” said Moscat. “We look forward to planning SBP’s next cancer metabolism conference to continue sharing breakthrough research advances that will ultimately improve the lives of patients.”

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