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World Science Festival Salon: Genetics and Cancer

Friday, June 3, 2011
10:30 am - 11:30 am

Cancer claims the lives of more than one half million Americans each year. Now, the end to that may come from the work of scientists that was once called misguided. Leaders in the field of genomics who have devoted themselves to preventing and curing cancer gather to discuss this important effort. As the National Cancer Institute continues developing its Cancer Genome Atlas, geneticists in laboratories around the world are stepping up their research. Here, some of the best in the field sit down to talk about how they’re doing.

Some of the advanced topics to be explored may include the differences in cancers that do and do not come from inherited genetics; the personalized treatments that genetic breakthroughs have brought; and the manipulation of DNA repair pathways to enhance the effect of chemotherapies.

World Science Festival Salons are an opportunity for in-depth conversations with world-leading scientists, extending the discussion of the Festival’s flagship public programs at a level appropriate for graduate students, postdocs, faculty and particularly well-informed members of the general public. 


Emily SenayPhysician Journalist

Emily Senay is a physician, medical and public health educator, broadcast journalist, and author. She is an assistant professor of Medicine in the Department of Preventive Medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and a clinician in the World Trade Center Health Program in New York City.

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Charles SawyersOncologist, Cancer Biologist

Charles Sawyers shared the 2009 Lasker~DeBakey Clinical Medical Research Award for his role in the development of molecularly-targeted treatments for chronic myeloid leukemia, converting a fatal cancer into a manageable chronic condition.

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Eric LanderBiologist, Mathematician, Geneticist

Eric Lander was one of the principal leaders of the Human Genome Project, which from 1990-2003 mapped the human genetic code. He has pioneered the application of genomics to the understanding human disease. Lander serves as President and Founding Director of the Broad Institute.

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Mary-Claire KingHuman Geneticist, Humanitarian

Mary-Claire King, PhD, is American Cancer Society Professor in the Department of Medicine and the Department of Genome Sciences at the University of Washington in Seattle. She was the first to show that breast cancer is inherited in some families, as the result of mutations in the gene that she named BRCA1.

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Siddhartha MukherjeePhysician, Author

Siddhartha Mukherjee is a cancer physician and researcher. He is an assistant professor of medicine at Columbia University and a staff physician at Columbia University Medical Center. A former Rhodes Scholar, he graduated from Stanford University, University of Oxford, and Harvard Medical School.

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