LABS: Detecting Cancer Cells in the Blood

Saturday, January 26th • 10:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
540 South Marengo Avenue, Pasadena, California 91101
Cost: $50 (Coordinator will invoice for payment after registration.)

What is liquid biopsy and what kind implication can it have for early diagnosis and treatment of cancer? How can we detect cancer better? Currently in the clinic, blood test is routinely used to monitor vitamin and mineral levels in search of deficiencies that can cause disease, to monitor cholesterol and good/bad fat levels that cause heart disease, or even to monitor glucose levels for predisposition or advancement of diabetes. Clinicians, scientists, mathematicians, programmers, and other professionals are working together to produce a blood test that could help monitor and prevent cancer development, cancer progression, or even treatment efficacy. This test is currently termed liquid biopsy, which is a non-invasive blood test that can provide additional information to our clinicians in effort to help reduce cancer mortality.

This workshop will explore the central dogma of life (DNA, RNA, and protein), cellular structure of a cell in human body, circulation and organs, and how this information is all used to determine when a healthy cell has deviated towards malignancy. We will also further explore how we can use this same information in blood to detect and treat cancer early and more efficiently.  This event is for students in grades 7-12.

Please note upon registration, a LABS Series team member will be in touch with you via email to confirm and finalize your child’s enrollment in the workshop.


About the Speakers

Paymaneh Malihi is a 5th year PhD candidate at University of Southern California. She graduated from UCLA with a BS degree in Microbiology, Immunology, and Molecular Genetics in 2010. Her degree led her to explore her passion in Oncology (Cancer) and Rheumatology (Autoimmune disease) which have one important concept in common: Disruption in normal immune system function. After graduation, she worked with Dr. David Agus at USC health science campus where she explored role of a newly discovered protein called AGR2 in prostate, breast, lung, and pancreatic cancer for 4 years. Her research led her to her PhD program where she has been investigating implication of blood test in early diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment efficacy of prostate cancer patients for the past 5 years with help of her advisors Dr. Peter Kuhn and Dr. James Hicks at the Bridge Institute.

Shoujie Chai is a 1st year PhD candidate in the Department of Molecular biology at University of Southern California. He graduated from Zhejiang University in China with a bachelor and master degree of medicine in 2016. He focused on clinical cancer diagnosis and treatment and also had an extreme interest in cancer biology. After graduation, he worked as a resident physician in the department of oncology at Zhejiang University Ningbo Hospital. His desire to redefine current mode of cancer diagnosis and treatment led him to continue scientific training at USC. Currently, he works on characterizing the morphological and molecular features of circulating tumor cells as predictors for therapeutic effect and disease progression in cancer patients by high definition-single cell analysis in Dr. Peter Kuhn and Dr. James Hicks’s co-laboratory.

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