Associate Director, Basic Science, for the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center, William Kaelin Jr., MD, will deliver a lecture on "Oxygen Sensing and Human Disease: Lessons from the Von Hippel-Lindau Hereditary Cancer Syndrome," as part of Medical Alumni Weekend, on Nov. 9 from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Washington Duke Inn.
A Howard Hughes Medical Investigator since 1998, Kaelin's research seeks to understand how, mechanistically, mutations affecting tumor-suppressor genes cause cancer. His long-term goal is to lay the foundation for new anticancer therapies based on the biochemical functions of tumor suppressor proteins. His work on the Von Hippel-Lindau protein helped to motivate the eventual successful clinical testing of VEGF inhibitors for the treatment of kidney cancer. Moreover, this line of investigation led to new insights into how cells sense and respond to changes in oxygen, and thus has implications for diseases beyond cancer, such as anemia, myocardial infarction and stroke.
Kaelin received the 2016 Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award in September 2016, together with Gregg Semenza of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and Peter Ratcliffe of the University of Oxford/Francis Crick Institute, for the “discovery of the pathway by which cells from human and most animals sense and adapt to changes in oxygen availability; a process that is essential for survival.” This ground-breaking research has had implications for the treatment of cancer, anemia, heart attack and stroke.
Kaelin, a Duke University alumnus who earned a degree in math and chemistry followed by an MD from Duke’s medical school, delivered the associated Annual Lasker Lecture at Duke in April 2017.
Duke University Clinical Education and Professional Development has designated this Nov. 9 educational activity for a maximum of 1.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit. Physicians should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.