Universidade do Algarve | 12h30 | Auditorium 1.8.1
Title: “Targeting the evil axis of cancer and aging. Challenges, Opportunities and Risks”
Abstract: FOXO factors are tumour suppressor proteins commonly inactivated in human tumours and involved in anti-cancer drug resistance. Furthermore, genetic variation within the FOXO3a gene is consistently associated with human longevity . Therefore, proteins which repress FOXO factors represent attractive therapeutic targets and pharmacological activation of FOXO proteins is considered as a promising therapeutic approach to treat cancer and age-related diseases. In order to identify molecular targets and agents capable of activating FOXOs, we tested genetic and chemical perturbants. We identified the FOXO repressor protein TRIB2 as a novel oncogene in melanoma that confers anticancer drug resistance. In addition we identified small molecule agents capable of activation FOXO proteins. Our objective is to translate our data into clinically useful tools to develop targeted strategies to improve the treatment of cancer and promote healthy aging. I will present our recent data and discuss the risks of knowledge-based drug discovery and personalized medicine for our societies.
Short Bio: Dr Link currently holds a position as an Assistant Professor at the Department of Biomedical Sciences and Medicine (DCBM, University of Algarve, Faro, Portugal). Dr Link completed his PhD degree in Molecular Neuroscience from University of Hamburg (Germany). He continued his scientific career as a postdoctoral fellow at the Centro Nacional de Biotechnología (CNB) in Madrid and then moved to Germany to join the biotech company Elegene GmbH. He joined the Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Oncológicas (CNIO) as a senior researcher in September 2001 where he was appointed Head of Screening Section in 2010. Dr Link accepted the position at the University of Algarve in 2011. He counts with more than 20 years of experience in basic and translational biomedical research reflected in over 65 publications (many as senior author), three patents, many invited key note and plenary presentations at international conferences, funded research projects, entrepreneurship (Cofounder of a biotech company) and an extensive network of contacts and collaborations (member of two COST actions: CM1106 and BM1204). Research in the Link lab is focused on cancer signaling as well as target and drug discovery. Dr Link is chief editor of “Molecular Inhibitors in Targeted Therapy” (MITT, De Gruyter) and editorial board member of three international peer reviewed journals.