Distinguished cell biologist Lewis C. Cantley of Dana Farber Cancer Institute will deliver the John T. Edsall Lecture on Thursday, December 7, 2023 at noon in the Northwest building, B103. His talk will be titled “Dysregulation of Lipid Kinases and Protein Kinases in Diabetes and Cancer.”
The lecture’s namesake is Harvard professor and biochemist John Tileston Edsall (1902-2002). For more information on his legacy, see below.
Cantley is Professor of Cancer Biology, Dana Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School, and his laboratory investigates the biochemical basis for metabolic control by growth factors. He earned his Ph.D. at Cornell University and completed a postdoc under the guidance of MCB professor Guido Guidotti (1933-2021). Cantley is best known for identifying and studying the PI3K enzyme, which plays a critical role in both cancer and metabolic pathways. Ensuing work showed that PI3K is strongly induced by oncogenes; showed that PI3K is the long-sought mediator of the insulin responses that control glucose metabolism; demonstrated a direct biochemical link of PI3K to oncogenic protein kinases; and identified upstream and downstream activators. These findings set the stage for chemical targeting of PI3K-related pathways, thus yielding several cancer treatments.
In synergistic work, Cantley has developed and applied approaches that allow to determine optimal motifs for growth factor-regulated protein interactions and substrates of protein kinases. Most recently, these techniques have allowed Cantley and his colleagues to accurately predict the most likely protein kinase or kinases to phosphorylate any site identified in mass spec proteomics, thus enabling detailed investigations of hundreds of thousands of molecular interactions. This work has garnered Cantley numerous awards and will be the subject of his Edsall Lecture.
He has served as the Meyer Director of the Sandra and Edward Meyer Cancer Center at Weill Cornell Medicine and was a founding faculty member of Harvard’s graduate program in Systems Biology.
Please join us on Thursday, December 7 to learn more about Professor Cantley’s research.