On Friday March 6, 2015, approximately 170 scientists gathered at OHSU for a symposium on Genomic Instability. The event was co-sponsored by the Oregon Institute for Occupational Health Sciences, the Knight Cancer Institute, and the Center for Spatial Systems Biomedicine.
Participants heard ground -breaking research from OHSU researchers including Occupational Health Science’s investigators Drs. Lloyd, McCullough, and Turker. Each of these presentations focused on the mechanisms through which exposures to chemicals and radiation in occupational and environmental settings can lead to mutations in DNA structures that can ultimately lead to cancer.
A highlight of the event was keynote speaker, Dr. David Pellman, a Howard Hughes Investigator from Harvard University who spoke on “A new mechanism for mutagenesis”. His investigations described evidence that catastrophic genetic events can occur in a very small subset of cells, the result of which could be the conversion of a normal cell into a tumor cell in a single step, rather than a slow multi-step progression.
There were also opportunities for faculty, staff, and students to exchange scientific ideas through a series of excellent posters. Overall, this meeting provided an outstanding forum for a free-flow of ideas and data concerning the origins of canceer and insights into prevention and treatment.