Wednesday, November 6, 2019

David Frank, MD, PHD

UNH's Center of Integrated Biomedical and Bioengineering Research and the Department of Molecular, Cellular and Biomedical Sciences (MCBS) will be hosting Senior Physican and Associate Professor David Frank from Dana-Farber Cancer Institue and Harvard Medical School.

Topic: Targeting STAT Transcription Factors for Cancer Therapy

When & Where: Friday, November 8th, 12:10-1:00 p.m. in Parsons Hall N104


Abstract: The malignant behavior of a cancer cell is largely driven by alterations in the expression of genes controlling cellular functions such as proliferation, survival, and self-renewal. This aberrant gene expression occurs due to the abnormal regulation of transcription factors, proteins that regulate the transcription of individual target genes. The STAT family of transcription factors controls the expression of genes in response to a wide variety of cytokines and growth factors. In many human cancers, STAT proteins become activated continuously, thereby driving malignant cellular behavior. Since STATs can be inhibited in normal cells with few deleterious effects, blocking STAT transcriptional function may be a valuable therapeutic strategy for many cancers. Using a variety of approaches, we have identified novel ways to inhibit STAT-dependent gene expression in cancer cells, while uncovering new insights into ways that STATs regulate the biology of normal and malignant cells.

Bio: Dr. David Frank is an associate professor of medicine at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School. He received his undergraduate degree in biology from M.I.T., after which he received his M.D. and Ph.D. at Yale. He completed clinical training in medical oncology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and a postdoctoral fellowship in intracellular signal transduction at Harvard Medical School.

Dr. Frank leads a research group that studies transcriptional networks in the pathogenesis of cancer, and as a target for molecular therapy. He has transitioned the first small molecule STAT3 transcriptional inhibitors from the lab to the clinic. In addition to directing his laboratory’s research, Dr. Frank cares for cancer patients at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and teaches on the faculty of Harvard Medical School.