Cancer as a phenomenon is at the crossroad of most (if not all) basic cellular processes: cell signaling, motility, gene transcription, DNA repair… Indeed, many of the fundamental mechanisms taking place in normal cells have been found due to their deregulation in cancer cells.
This course will focus on the molecular and cellular origins of cancer, the consequences of cellular transformation at the organic level and in the potential use of abnormal function as a target to treat the disease, according to the models of translational research and personalized medicine. In particular, we will study the past and current trends on the field of drug discovery in oncology and discuss their strengths and weaknesses.
Throughout discussions, we will identify and discuss the main opportunities and challenges in basic and applied cancer cell biology, on the aim to propose new and unexpected potential clinical strategies.
The main topics of this course will be:
- Cancer cell hallmarks
- Cellular origins of cancer. The Cancer Stem Cell model
- Drug discovery in oncology: target identification and validation strategies
- New fields in cancer cell biology: what’s next?
Students should have an undergraduate level knowledge of cellular and molecular biology (e.g “Molecular Biology of the Cell”, by Bruce Alberts et al).