January 8, 2009
Vol. 28 No. 7

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    Lecture series to spotlight new therapies for cancers of the blood

    New information about breakthrough research on blood cancers will be shared at the upcoming Charles B. Huggins Lecture Series, beginning Saturday, Jan. 10.

    Wei Xu, a Ph.D. candidate in the Committee on Cancer Biology, will deliver eight lectures to inform her audience about how the frontiers of science are being used to find new treatments for blood cancers. These lectures are designed for anyone interested in understanding the difference between hematopoietic stem cells and other kinds of cells in the body. In her lecture, Xu also will cover how stem cell therapies are used in cancer therapy.

    Named for the Nobel Laureate, the seventh annual Charles B. Huggins Lecture Series, titled “Blood, Stem Cells and Cancers of the Blood,” is an annual lecture series intended to make science accessible to a general audience and to convey the excitement of new discoveries in the biological sciences. The series should be especially informative for cancer patients and their families.

    Over the eight-week series, Xu will give an overview of components of the blood and how and where they are formed. These early lectures will provide background for discussion about the role of stem cells in the blood and how they can malfunction and cause leukemia and lymphoma. In the final lectures, Xu will discuss current and emerging therapies for blood cancers, in addition to the mysteries that cancer researchers and physicians need to solve in order to find better treatments.

    Xu received the 2008 Ehrman Award, which honors senior graduate students who achieve academic excellence.

    Each lecture will be held from 11 a.m. to noon on eight consecutive Saturdays beginning Jan. 10, at the Billings Auditorium, Room AMB P117, located in the University Medical Center. The medical center can be accessed from two entrances: the Surgery and Brain Research Institute, 5812 S. Ellis Ave., or Mitchell Hospital, 5815 S. Maryland Ave. Parking is available for a nominal fee at 5840 S. Maryland Ave.

    Huggins won the 1966 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for research on testosterone’s involvement in prostate cancer. Huggins founded and was the first director of the Ben May Department for Cancer Research at the University.

    To obtain more information about the lectures or to arrange assistance for disabled individuals, call (773) 702-3940.