ChBE Seminar Series: Konstantinos Konstantopoulos
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
11:00 a.m.-12:15 p.m.
Room 2110 Chemical and Nuclear Eng. Bldg.
Professor F. Joseph Schork
Cancer Cell Life in Transit: A Biochemical and Biophysical Analysis of the Vascular Interactions of Tumor Cells
Presented by Konstantinos Konstantopoulos
Professor and Chair
Department of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering
The Johns Hopkins University
Cancer metastasis is a highly orchestrated multistep process, in which cancerous cells separate from the primary tumor and enter the circulatory system where they interact extensively with host cells before they lodge and colonize the target organ. The adhesive interactions of circulating tumor cells with host platelets, leukocytes and endothelial cells facilitate their survival and extravasation from the vasculature, thus representing critical kick-off events for the colonization of distant organs. This seminar will provide an example of a multidisciplinary approach integrating engineering fundamentals with concepts and techniques from biochemistry, molecular biology and biophysics in order to better understand the pathological process of hematogenous metastasis. More specifically, it will emphasize the importance of the fluid dynamic environment in regulating the adhesion process of colon carcinoma cells to host cells. In view of the critical role of a family of adhesion molecules called selectins in metastasis, the seminar will discuss our approach for the identification of selectin ligands on colon carcinoma cells, their biochemical and biophysical characterization, and also outline how our approach could lead to the development of novel diagnostic and therapeutic strategies.