Jul 10, 2024
From 12 PM to 1 PM

Location Virtual - Via Zoom
ContactColleen Vani

adMare Industry Builder series featuring Dr. Morag Park: Patient Avatars: Reproducible Models of Metastases for Discovery and Translation

adMare Industry Builder series featuring Dr. Morag Park: Patient Avatars: Reproducible Models of Metastases for Discovery and Translation

Join us on Wednesday, July 10th, for an adMare Industry Builder Series webinar featuring Dr. Morag Park where she will discuss Patient Avatars: Reproducible Models of Metastases for Discovery and Translation.

A long-standing, formidable challenge in cancer research has been the development and application of experimental models of human cancer that accurately reflect tumor heterogeneity, disease progression and metastasis, therapeutic response, and drug resistance. As such models are essential to the development and validation of new therapies and biomarkers, they are foundational to the development of precision cancer medicines. Traditional approaches, which typically utilize established cancer cell lines and their corresponding xenografts, have been vital for identifying cancer targets and biological mechanisms, but have often failed at predicting the efficacy of drugs in clinical settings. Importantly, since most existing cell lines were developed prior to the availability of many modern therapies, they do not reflect the principal clinical challenge of drug resistant disease. Development of candidate cancer treatments is a resource-intensive process, with the research community continuing to investigate options beyond static genomic characterization. Despite certain caveats, patient-derived xenografts (PDXs) are a powerful model system for assessing drug efficacy of anti-cancer agents and understanding molecular mechanisms of drug resistance.

About Dr. Morag Park 

Dr. Morag Park is a Distinguished James McGill Professor in the Departments of Oncology, Biochemistry and Medicine, the Diane and Sal Guerrera Chair in Cancer Genetics, and the Director of the Rosalind and Morris Goodman Cancer Institute (2013-present) at McGill University. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences, and a Knight of the Order National du Québec.

She received a B.Sc. with first class honors from the University of Glasgow, a Ph.D. in Viral carcinogenesis from the Medical Research Council Virology Institute in Scotland and trained as a postdoctoral fellow at the National Cancer Institute in Washington DC prior to joining McGill University in 1989. Dr. Park has held many leadership positions including Director of the Molecular Oncology Group (2005-2008) of the McGill University Health Centre, Scientific Director of the Institute of Cancer Research for the CIHR (2008-2013),  co-chair  of the Canadian Cancer Research Alliance (2008-2010).

Dr. Park is a recipient of a Canadian Cancer Research Alliance Award (2015) for Exceptional Leadership in Cancer Research, and a recipient of the Canadian Society for Molecular Biosciences Arthur Wynne Gold Medal Prize (2016) for having made major contributions to biochemistry, molecular and cell biology in Canada. She is also a recipient of the Canadian Cancer Society Robert L. Noble Prize (2017), the Quebec Breast Cancer Foundation Grand Prix Scientifique (2019), the Club de Recherches Cliniques du Québec Michel Sarrazin Award (2021), and Prix du Québec Armand-Frappier Award (2021).

Dr. Park is a research leader in the field of receptor tyrosine kinases (RTK) and mechanisms of oncogenic activation of RTKs in human cancers. She established the Breast Cancer Functional Genomics Group at McGill and has pioneered studies of the breast tumour and immune microenvironment.  She was the elected chair of the Tumour Microenvironment Network of the American Association for Cancer Research (2015-2017). She has more than 280 publications with an H index of 92.