Lecture Title: TBD
Date/Time: Tuesday, January 25, 2022; 12-1 pm - Location: via ZOOM
Speaker: Karen Sfanos, Ph.D. is an associate professor of pathology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Her research focuses on the cellular and molecular pathology of prostate disease.
Dr. Sfanos and her research team are particularly interested in agents that may lead to chronic prostatic inflammation, such as bacterial infections and prostatic concretions called corpora amylacea. The lab's ongoing studies are aimed at understanding the influence of prostate infections and inflammation on prostate disease including prostate cancer and benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). The laboratory also focuses on the influence of the microbiome on prostate cancer development, progression, and/or resistance to therapy.
Dr. Sfanos earned her M.S. at the Florida Institute of Technology. She completed her Ph.D. and a fellowship at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.
She was awarded a fellowship from the Prevent Cancer Foundation in 2009 and was recognized by the Prostate Cancer Foundation as the Chris and Felicia Evensen Young Investigator in 2012 and by the V Foundation as a V Scholar in 2014.
Lecture Title: TBD
Date/Time: Tuesday, March 15, 2022; 12-1 pm - Location: via ZOOM
Speaker: Alexander Wyatt, PhD is an Assistant Professor in genitourinary cancer genomics. He obtained a DPhil (PhD) in from the University of Oxford in the UK and carried out his postdoctoral training at the Vancouver Prostate Centre in Canada. Dr. Wyatt has a background in basic human genetics, and 8 years of experience in cancer bioinformatics and the analysis of complex datasets. The primary research goals of his laboratory are to dissect the clinical relevance of genomic alterations in metastatic genitourinary cancers, and develop minimally-invasive biomarkers for guiding therapy selection. His team have established a variety of custom next-generation sequencing techniques and novel bioinformatics approaches to interrogate tissue and liquid biopsies from patients enrolled on a series of ongoing clinical trials and protocols.
The Wyatt lab works very closely with Dr. Kim Chi, Dr. Martin Gleave, and other senior medical oncologists and urologists at the Vancouver Prostate Centre and UBC, and together they have recently demonstrated that plasma circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) is highly representative of metastatic lesions in prostate and bladder cancer, and that somatic alterations detected in ctDNA can help predict therapy resistance or response. The lab currently runs a phase II ‘umbrella trial’ to prospectively test this concept in 500 patients with metastatic prostate cancer. Dr. Wyatt’s team also leverages the serial sampling afforded by ctDNA to study how the prostate tumor genome evolves under the evolutionary pressures of different therapeutic regimens. They are particularly interested in changes to the AR gene, and how DNA repair defective prostate cancer responds to treatment.
Dr. Wyatt has been the recipient of multiple awards including a Coalition to Cure Prostate Cancer Young Investigator Award from the Prostate Cancer Foundation, a Movember Rising Star in Prostate Cancer Research Award from Prostate Cancer Canada and an Early Career Investigator Award from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.