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Unraveling Cancer Stem Cell Survival Mechanisms

Catriona Jamieson, M.D., Ph.D. and Kelly Frazer, Ph.D., Moores Cancer Center

April 21, 2011
35 minutes
Catriona Jamieson, Kelly Frazer


Catriona Jamieson, M.D., Ph.D. is Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Division of Hematology-Oncology and Director for Stem Cell Research at Moores UCSD Cancer Center. Dr. Jamieson specializes in myeloproliferative disorders (MPDs) and leukemia. Myeloproliferative neoplasms are a family of uncommon but not rare degenerative disorders in which the body overproduces blood cells. Myeloproliferative neoplasms can cause many forms of blood clotting including heart attack, stroke, deep venous thrombosis, and pulmonary emboli and can develop into acute myelogenous leukemia. Although some effective treatments are available, they are laden with serious side effects. In addition, individuals can become resistant to the treatments. Dr. Jamieson studies the mutant stem cells and progenitor cells in myeloproliferative neoplasms. These cells can give rise to cancer stem cells. Cancer stem cells may lie low to evade chemotherapy and then activate again later, causing disease progression and resistance to treatment. Her goal is to find more selective, less toxic therapies.

Kelly A. Frazer, PhD, joined UCSD to serve as the founding chief of the new Division of Genome Information Sciences for the Department of Pediatrics. In this role, Dr. Frazer works closely with physicians in the Department of Pediatrics, the Moores UCSD Cancer Center and Rady Children's Hospital as well as with scientists in the Health Sciences. Dr. Frazer was formerly a professor of Molecular and Experimental Medicine at the Scripps Research Institute and director of genomic biology at The Scripps Genomics Medicine Program at Scripps Health. There she established Next Generation Sequencing capabilities and advanced sample preparation methods for population-based, targeted sequencing studies. She also conducted functional genomics studies to characterize genetic markers associated with human diseases. Prior to Scripps, Dr. Frazer served as vice president of genomics at Perlegen Sciences in Mountain View. There she focused on array-based re-sequencing of 50 human genomes, in order to map out the common elements of genetic diversity. During this time, Dr. Frazer worked with other scientists to develop the content now publicly available in the "HapMap," or human haplotype map. She also directed several whole genome association scans to identify genetic markers associated with human diseases and human variance in drug response. Dr. Frazer earned undergraduate degrees in chemistry and biology at UCSC. She then went to UCSF where she received her PhD degree in genetics in 1993. From 1993 to 1997, she was a post-doctoral fellow at Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory in the Life Sciences Division and then worked as a staff scientist in the Genome Sciences Department there until 2000. During this time, she directed implementation of the cross-species comparative DNA visualization tool, VISTA. Dr. Frazer is a frequent reviewer on NIH-review panels, she is also a member of the NIH Genome Research Resources Committee and presently serves on the Expert Scientific Panel for the genome-wide association program being led by the National Human Genome Research Institute.