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Nov 19, 2021

RPG Seminar (2021-11-19)

Date: Friday, 19 November 2021

Venue: Seminar Room 1&2, G/F, Laboratory Block, Faculty of Medicine Building, 21 Sassoon Road, Pokfulam, Hong Kong

Time: 5:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.

5:00 p.m.

Speaker: Miss Hei Ip HONG (MPhil candidate)
Primary Supervisor: Dr. Lydia Wai Ting CHEUNG
Presentation Title: Functional and therapeutic significance of PIK3CA amplification in serous ovarian cancer
Abstract: PIK3CA, which encodes the PI3K catalytic subunit alpha (p110α), is frequently aberrated in human cancers. PIK3CA point mutations, e.g. the hotspot E545K and H1047R, are drivers of many malignancies. However, these PIK3CA mutations are rare while PIK3CA gene amplification is frequent in serous ovarian cancer, suggesting that PIK3CA amplification may be an alternative to PIK3CA mutation for serous ovarian tumorigenesis. This study aims to examine this possibility by utilizing serous ovarian cancer cell lines with knock-in E545K mutation or PIK3CA overexpression. Both E545K and PIK3CA amplification sensitized cells to p110α-specific inhibitors, and the canonical downstream AKT pathway was activated under both conditions. Apart from the common pathways, we discovered differentially altered pathways in the context of PIK3CA amplification or E545K mutation, including MAPK and ERα. This suggested that the two aberration events may induce distinct signaling to drive tumorigenesis. Taken together, the findings offer insights into the therapeutic targets in PIK3CA-aberrated serous ovarian cancer.

5:30 p.m. 

Speaker: Mr. Wai Fong CHAN (PhD candidate)
Primary Supervisor: Dr. Alan Siu Lun WONG
Presentation Title: Engineering Human Nanobodies for Cancer Immunotherapy
Abstract: Cancer immunotherapy, which utilises our immune system to treat cancer, has shown promising efficiency in treating advanced malignancies compared to traditional therapies. One of the key players in immunotherapies are antibodies that provide high target specificity of the treatment. Compared with other types of antibodies, single-variable domain antibodies (Nanobodies) have lower immunogenicity and higher solubility. While traditional methods for screening synthetic human nanobodies like phage display have intrinsic limits regarding the protein folding machinery and posttranslational modifications of the nanobodies, a screening platform based on the synthetic Notch receptor using human cells is developed. In order to increase the screening throughput of this platform, a machine learning approach will be applied for the nanobody design.



Should you have any enquiries, please feel free to contact Miss Cynthia Cheung at 3917 9748.