UCL Cancer Institute Seminar Series 

Professor Phil Jones

MRC Cancer Unit, University of Cambridge

'How stem cell fate changes during squamous carcinogenesis'

12.00pm, Thursday 26th February 2015
Courtyard Café, Paul O’Gorman Building All welcome

Dr Phil Jones

Deep sequencing has started to shed light on the evolution of haematological cancers, but little is known about the early stages in the development of solid tumours.   We have developed a lineage tracing based approach to quantify cell behaviour in normal tissues and tumours, using mouse oesophageal epithelium as a model.  

In homeostasis, wild type progenitors generate equal proportions of progenitor and differentiating cells, dividing to generate two progenitor daughters, two differentiating daughters or one of each.  Transgenic inhibition of Notch signalling in scattered progenitor cells, modelling the effect of inactivating mutations common in squamous cancer, creates dominant clones.  The mutant cells lose the two differentiating cell division outcome, resulting in exponential growth and functional immortality. This cellular mechanism explains the phenomenon of ‘field change’.  

Lineage tracing in tumours in a new model of squamous carcinogenesis reveals that the rate of cell division is not increased in lesions compared with the surrounding epithelium, rather the rate at which differentiated cells are lost is substantially reduced.  These findings have significant implications for cancer treatment and prevention.

The Seminar will be followed by a sandwich buffet lunch



Multidisciplinary Seminar

Thursday 19th February 5:00pm 
Courtyard Cafe, Paul O'Gorman Building

Prof Alexey Zaikin

Chair in Applied Mathematics and Computational Biomedicine
'Noise and intelligence in intracellular gene-regulatory networks'

Dr Oleg Blyuss

Institute for Women's Health 
'Analysis of ovarian cancer proteomic biomarkers”

The UCL Cancer Institute Multidisciplinary Seminar Series highlights research from disciplines across UCL. This seminar in the series will be focused on Mathematics.

All welcome.


Professor Giorgio Stassi

Surgical and Oncological Sciences, University of Palermo
'Cancer Stem Cells: from Bench to Bedside'

Wednesday 18th February 2015
5.00pm, 
Courtyard Cafe, Paul O'Gorman Building

Host: Professor Henning Walczak (h.walczak@ucl.ac.uk).  

Summary: 

Even though it is clear that larger and more invasive colorectoral cancers (CRCs) represent a more efficient source of metastatic cells, the cell population able to migrate from the primary site and generate distant metastasis is still unknown. Prof. Stassi’s research team have recently demonstrated that CRC contains a small and variable number of cells that express CD44v6 and which are uniquely able to generate metastatic tumors in orthotopic xenograft models. Importantly, the team observed that BMP7 impairs the tumorigenic and metastatic potential of colon cancer stem cells. CSCs have peculiar features that potentially make them ideal models in the study of drug resistance and sensitivity. The research team have provided evidence that CSC isolation and in vitro sensitivity assay, are feasible and clinically suitable to identify a potentially effective treatment for chemo-refractory lung and colorectal cancer.

All are welcome.  An informal reception will be held after the seminar.


UCL Cancer Institute Special Seminar
5.00pm, 29th January 2015
Courtyard Café, Paul O’Gorman Building
All welcome.

Prof Alison Lloyd

MRC Laboratory for Molecular Cell Biology, UCL, London

'Links between the multicellular tissue repair response and tumourigenesis'

Alison Lloyd

The research in Prof Lloyd’s laboratory focuses on two fundamental cell biological processes: Cell Growth and Tissue Regeneration and the role of these processes in cancer. The Lab uses the mammalian peripheral nervous system (PNS) as model system. The combination of primary in vitro culture systems and in vivo mouse models is used to study the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying the homeostatic regulation of these processes and how they become deregulated in cancer.  

While Prof Lloyd work has broad implications for cancer biology, it also has direct relevance for the tumour predisposition syndrome, Neurofibromatosis Type 1 (NF1). In her talk, she will focus on the  complex multicellular response required for tissue repair in the adult and the relevance of these processes to tumourigenesis.

Alison Lloyd Research Group

The Seminar will be followed by a drinks reception.