Oct
29
Tue
Women in Cancer Research Fall Mini-Seminar Series: Aikaterini Kontrogianni-Konstantopoulos @ Croft Hall G40, JHU Homewood campus
Oct 29 @ 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Women in Cancer Research Fall Mini-Seminar Series: Aikaterini Kontrogianni-Konstantopoulos @ Croft Hall G40, JHU Homewood campus

Please join us for our second guest speaker in our Women in Cancer Research Fall Mini Seminar Series, Aikaterini Kontrogianni-Konstantopoulos, and her talk, “Giant Obscurins: Novel Tumor and Metastasis Suppressors in Breast Epithelial Cells.”

Abstract: Obscurins, encoded by the single OBSCN gene, are giant (720-860 kDa) cytoskeletal proteins with scaffolding and regulatory roles. The OBSCN gene is highly mutated and/or epigenetically modified in multiple types of cancer, including breast cancer. Consistent with this, Kaplan-Meier-Plotter data sets have indicated that low OBSCN levels correlate with significantly reduced survival and relapse-free survival in breast cancer patients. Our research focuses on interrogating the impact of obscurins’ loss from normal breast epithelial cells, the delineation of the molecular alterations that take place downstream of obscurins’ loss, and the development of novel and effective ways to restore obscurin expression and/or functionality.

Biography: Aikaterini Kontrogianni-Konstantopoulos research focuses on the elucidation of the roles of cytoskeletal and membrane-associated proteins as structural and signaling mediators. Using the muscle and epithelial cell as model systems, my laboratory has pioneered the molecular and functional characterization of the obscurin subfamily and its binding partner Myosin Binding Protein-C slow in health and disease.

In 2007, she joined the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine as Assistant Professor in the tenure track. Using the muscle and epithelial cell as model systems, her laboratory has pioneered the molecular and functional characterization of major cytoskeletal and membrane-associated proteins as structural and signaling mediators in health and disease.

Nov
5
Tue
Women in Cancer Research Fall Mini Seminar Series: Efronsini “Efie” Kokkoli @ Croft Hall G40, JHU Homewood campus
Nov 5 @ 2:43 pm – 3:43 pm
Women in Cancer Research Fall Mini Seminar Series: Efronsini "Efie" Kokkoli @ Croft Hall G40, JHU Homewood campus

Efie Kokkoli, a targeted drug delivery specialist, is a professor in the Chemical and Biomolecular Department at the Whiting School of Engineering. Her research focuses on the areas of DNA nanotechnology, multi-targeted gene and drug delivery, and the design of biopolymers and responsive hydrogels. With the goal of directing nanoparticles capable of carrying cancer drugs to tumor sites while sparing non-cancerous areas, her group concentrates on designing biomaterials ranging from polymeric nanoparticles to DNA nanotubes that respond best under certain conditions, like temperature or pH, and have specificity for cancer cells.