Elaine Fuchs (Rockefeller, HHMI) 3: Cancer: Hijacking the Wound Repair Mechanisms Used by Stem Cells

Elaine Fuchs (Rockefeller, HHMI) 3: Cancer: Hijacking the Wound Repair Mechanisms Used by Stem Cells

Recording date: 11/07/2018
Viewed: 1 time

Skin stem cells have great potential for the treatment of burns and corneal injuries. As Elaine Fuchs explains, understanding skin stem cell biology is also key to understanding cancers such as squamous cell carcinoma. https://www.ibiology.org/development-and-stem-cells/skin-stem-cells Talk Overview: Part 3 of 3: Squamous cell carcinomas (SCCs) are commonly occurring, dangerous cancers that may originate from skin stem cells. By developing methods to identify the stem cells that will lead to cancer, Fuchs’ lab has been able to study how these cells differ from normal skin stem cells. They found that the gene expression profile in normal versus cancer stem cells is very different and is likely the result of differences in the cancer stem cell niche. The tumor microenvironment may include immune cells and greater proximity to TGF-beta secreting blood vessels. Fuchs’ lab showed that cancer stem cells exposed to TGF-beta had increased expression of proteins in the glutathione metabolism pathway; the same pathway which is involved in the breakdown of chemotherapy drugs. Further studies in SCC patients, showed a strong correlation between increased mRNA levels for glutathione pathway proteins and decreased survival. These results suggest that drugs which block TGF-beta activity, in combination with other chemotherapeutics, may be an effective therapy for some SCC. Speaker Biography: Elaine Fuchs is the Rebecca C. Lancefield Professor of Mammalian Cell Biology and Development at The Rockefeller University and an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Her lab studies the role of skin stem cells in homeostasis and wound repair and how these processes go awry in cancer and inflammatory diseases. Fuchs received her BS in chemistry from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana and her PhD in biochemistry from Princeton. She developed her interest in skin biology as a post-doctoral fellow with Howard Green at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Before joining Rockefeller University in 2002, Fuchs was a faculty member at the University of Chicago for twenty years. Fuchs’ many contributions to skin and stem cell biology have been recognized with myriad awards and honors including the National Medal of Science in 2008, the March of Dimes Prize in 2012, and the E.B. Wilson Prize from the American Society of Cell Biology in 2015, to name a few. She is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Medicine. Learn more about Dr. Fuchs’ research here: https://www.rockefeller.edu/our-scientists/heads-of-laboratories/1166-elaine-fuchs/ http://www.hhmi.org/scientists/elaine-fuchs

Elaine Fuchs (Rockefeller University & Howard Hughes Medical Institute)


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