Programme

The programme will include oral and poster presentations from the student attendees, three presentations from high-profile keynote speakers. In addition, there will be career workshops focusing on a variety of scientific careers within and beyond academia. Students selected to give a talk may choose between present live or pre-record a video that will be streamed on the day.

The conference will be hosted virtually on gather.town, where talks, poster sessions, workshops and social events will be held in an entertaining and dynamic environment.

While students from all years are invited to participate, students in the more advanced stages of their PhD are particularly encouraged to attend and give oral presentation of their work. In the event of over-subscription, preference will be given to students near the end of their PhD. All attendees will have to present their research, by either giving a talk or presenting a poster.

We will publish the full programme closer to the start of the event.

We are excited to announce the following keynote speakers:

Laura MacheskyCancer Research UK Beatson Institute, Glasgow, UK

Professor Laura Machesky FRSE FMEDSci is the Deputy Director of the Institute of Cancer Sciences of the University of Glasgow.  At the CRUK Beatson Institute, she is a Senior Group Leader and head of the Migration, Invasion and Metastasis Laboratory. She obtained her PhD in 1993 from The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, under the supervision of Thomas D. Pollard. During her time there, she studied the interaction of the actin-binding protein profilin with lipids of the cell membrane and firstly described the Arp2/3 complex. She later moved to the UK, where she held two postdoc positions at the MRC Laboratory for Molecular Biology, the first in Cambridge with Robert Kay (1993-1995) and the second in London with Alan Hall (1995-1999). During that time, she focused her research on molecular mechanisms involved in actin dynamics and cell movement. Her ground-breaking discovery was that of the function of the Scar/WAVE complex in activating Arp2/3 and initiating actin nucleation and formation of protrusions at the cell edge. She initially started her group in Birmingham (1999), but moved to the CRUK Beatson Institute in 2007. Her research, although still largely focused on molecular determinants of cytoskeletal integrity and cell movement in the context of cancer and normal development, has expanded to include mechanotransduction-mediated metabolic rewiring of tumours and bioengineered environments to mimic the metastatic niche.

Christian FrezzaUniversity of Cambridge, UK

Dr Christian Frezza is Programme leader at the MRC Cancer Unit, Cambridge Cancer Center, at the University of Cambridge, UK. He studied Medicinal Chemistry at the University of Padova, Italy, and gained his MSc in 2002, after a period of research on mitochondrial toxicity induced by photoactivable anticancer drugs. Christian then joined the laboratory of Luca Scorrano in Padova to start a PhD on mitochondrial dynamics and apoptosis. In 2008, he moved to the Beatson Institute of Cancer Research in Glasgow and in the lab of Eyal Gottlie as recipient of an EMBO Long Term Fellowship, where he investigated the role of mitochondrial defects in tumorigenesis. He moved to the MRC Cancer Unit in 2012 as tenure track Group Leader and became a Programme Leader in 2017. His laboratory is mainly interested in investigating the emerging connection between cancer and metabolism, with a particular focus on mitochondrial metabolism. By using a combination of biochemistry, metabolomics, and systems biology he investigates the role of altered metabolism in cancer with the aim to understand how metabolic transformation regulates the process of tumorigenesis. His aim is to exploit these findings to establish novel therapeutic strategies and diagnostic tools for cancer.

Ross CaganWolfson Wohl Cancer Research Centre, Glasgow, UK

Professor Ross Cagan is currently Regius Professor of Precision Medicine and Royal Society Wohl Fellow at University of Glasgow and Scientific Director of the Wolfson Wohl Cancer Research Centre. He received his Ph.D. from Princeton University. After a postdoctoral fellowship at UCLA, he achieved the rank of Professor at Washington University School of Medicine (1993-2007), then at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai (2007-2020). He was co-Founder and board member of the biotechnology company Medros Inc. Taking advantage of a century of powerful genetic tools, his laboratory has developed highly complex, whole animal models for cancer and inherited genetic diseases. Their work helped promote the first FDA-approved chemotherapeutic for Medullary Thyroid Carcinoma. Working with the chemist Arvin Dar and computational chemist Avner Schlessinger, his laboratory has developed a novel platform that combines genetics with medicinal and computational chemistry to build novel lead compounds that emphasize rational polypharmacology. Leveraging these new technologies, Professor Cagan leads the Center for Personalized Cancer Therapeutics team that develops and treats thyroid and colorectal cancer patients through a personalized fly-to-bedside, open label clinical trial. In this trial, ‘personalised fly avatars’ are used to identify therapeutic cocktails unique to each patient.