Professor David Huang - Walter and Eliza Hall Institute (WEHI), University of Melbourne

Professor David Huang Prof David Huang WEHI University of Melbourne

Eliminating cancer cells by flipping off the switch for cell survival.

 

Hosted by: Professor Si Ming Man

 

Abstract

The pro-survival BCL2 proteins are crucial for cell survival, but in certain cancers, some are overly active. For instance, BCL2 is often highly expressed in blood cancers. To counter this, drugs targeting BCL2, like venetoclax, have been developed to induce cell death in dependent tumor cells. Venetoclax is now approved for treating chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) and acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Our recent studies shed light on why venetoclax might fail, and I will also discuss strategies to enhance the efficacy of BCL2-targeting drugs.

 

Biography

Professor David Huang is a laboratory head at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute (WEHI) of Medical Research in Melbourne and Professor in the Department of Medical Biology, University of Melbourne. He is a medical graduate, trained in Internal Medicine and in Hematology. He has led an independent research program since 2000. His research interests are studying the molecular mechanisms that regulate cell death in mammalian cells, understanding how deregulation of this process can lead to diseases such as cancer and how these can be targeted for improved therapies. Professor Huang's laboratory has made significant contributions towards targeting the BCL2-regulated cell survival pathway, most notably with venetoclax, for treating patients with blood cancers.