Inaugural Lectures SV - Aleksandar Antanasijevic, Wouter Karthaus


Event details

Date 09.03.2023 17:1519:00  
Speaker Prof. Aleksandar Antanasijevic
Prof. Wouter Karthaus
Category Inaugural lectures - Honorary Lecture
Event Language English
Date: Thursday March 9, 2023
  • 17:15 - 17:25 Introduction by the Dean and Director GHI
  • 17:25 - 17:55 Prof. Aleksandar Antanasijevic
  • 18:00 - 18:10 Introduction by the Dean and Director ISREC
  • 18:10 - 18:40 Prof. Wouter Karthaus
  • 18:40 - 18:45 Closure
  • 18:45 Apéritif
Location: SV1717
Registration: Click here

Prof. Aleksandar Antanasijevic

Immune responses visualized by electron microscopy

Over the past few decades we have witnessed a revolution in vaccine research catalyzed by the expansion of technologies for design, manufacturing, administration, and evaluation of vaccines. Our new lab at EPFL is developing electron-microscopy-based methods for rapid structural analysis of immune responses induced by vaccine candidates, pathogens and toxins. We use structural and computational biology tools to study how molecular features in antigens shape antibody-mediated immunity. By defining the rules for efficient antibody engagement, we aim to introduce novel engineering principles for vaccine design. In this talk, I will discuss our work on the development of EM methods and present examples from the research involving viral antigens from human immunodeficiency virus, enteroviruses etc.

About the speaker
I am a biochemist by training, with a strong research background in structural biology and its application to virus and vaccine research. I completed my PhD at the University of Illinois at Chicago in the lab of Michael Caffrey, where I first got exposed to methods like nuclear magnetic resonance and X-ray crystallography. Following a postdoc in Andrew Ward's lab at the Scripps Research Institute, where I specialized in electron microscopy, I moved to EPFL to start my own research group. In our new lab, we seek to establish a multi-component research program to aid structure-guided vaccine design efforts in different fields using electron microscopy as the primary tool.

Prof. Wouter Karthaus

Steroid hormone regulated organs & cancers: Androgens, lineage plasticity and beyond

Prostate cancer (PCa) is one of the most common malignancies, with more than 1.4 million new diagnoses and 375.000 deaths in 2020 alone. In spite of considerable heterogeneity in the mutational landscape, all primary PCa relies on the Androgen Receptor (AR) for growth and survival, treatment of metastatic prostate cancer is aimed on disrupting AR function using AR signaling inhibitors (ARSI). Potent “next generation” ARSI such as enzalutamide and abiraterone have been great clinical successes, however virtually all patients will eventually relapse, to a disease state commonly referred to as castration resistant prostate cancer (CRPC). Here I will discuss the several molecular mechanisms of progression to CRPC, which include a novel phenotype switching behaviour of cancer cells called lineage plasticity.  Additionally, I will discuss how these findings on lineage plasticity can be translated to steroid hormone regulated cancers, such as breast and endometrial cancer.

About the speaker
My research has focused on development of novel in vitro model systems to study prostate biology. Which led to the development of the prostate organoids methodology during my PhD.
During my post-doc I used this model system to study the effects of androgen deprivation on the normal prostate as well as prostate cancer. Currently the Karthaus lab still focuses further developing and refining the organoid methodology, initiation and progression of steroid hormone dependent cancers and mechanisms of resistance to drug treatments.


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inaugural lecture Aleksandar Antanasijevic Wouter Karthaus