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Prof. Bart Vanhaesebroeck Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research & University College London, UK1 Talk
Following a PhD from Ghent University (Belgium), focusing on cytokine signalling and cell death, Bart carried out postdoctoral studies with Mike Waterfield at the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, London where he was involved in the isolation of PI 3-kinase (PI3K) genes. These studies led to the realisation that PI3Ks... read moreform a family of related enzymes. His team’s research aims to uncover the functions of these PI3K isoforms, both in normal physiology and in disease, and to understand their molecular mechanism of action.
Bart’s group discovered the p110delta isoform of PI3K as a new drug target in inflammation, allergy, haematological malignancies and, most recently, in solid tumours. His laboratory has taken the characterization of p110delta ‘all the way’, from gene cloning, through to the development of the first mouse models, followed by the generation of p110delta inhibitors in a drug development programme with PIramed Ltd (purchased by Roche in 2008). Targeting p110delta has been the most successful clinical PI3K inhibitor development effort to date, which culminated in the approval in 2014 of the p110delta inhibitor Zydelig (Gilead) for the treatment of specific blood cancers. p110delta inhibitors are also being trialled in arthritis and allergy. His team’s recent work (Nature 2014:510:407 – a collaboration with the laboratory of Klaus Okkenhaug in Cambridge) indicates that p110delta is also a target for immuno-stimulation in cancer, potentially widening the use of p110delta drugs from inflammation and haematological malignancies to immune-therapy of solid tumours.
Bart is an elected member of EMBO and of the UK Academy of Medical Sciences.