Charles Cantor, Sequenom, Inc., “Detecting specific nucleic acid sequences under challenging but potentially useful circumstances.”

Nov 9 2010, 11:00 am
Distinguished Lecture Series Guest Speaker: 

Charles Cantor

Chief Scientific Officer, Sequenom, Inc.
Professor, Biomedical Engineering, Boston University
Professor of Pharmacology, School of Medicine, Boston University

Date & Time: 
Tuesday, November 9, 2010, 11:00AM
Klaus 1116E
Jeffrey Skolnick
In this talk I will describe three circumstances where sensitive detection of nucleic acids leads to practical or useful results. All display synergy between academic research and biotechnology companies. The first, involving SEQUENOM in San Diego, uses both mass spectrometry of DNA and high throughput sequencing of DNA to detect traces of fetal DNA that are present n the peripheral blood of a pregnant woman. This allows prenatal diagnosis of fetal traits to be performed without any risk at all to mother or fetus. The second involving DiThera, in Costa Mesa, demonstrates schemes for the detection of specific RNA sequences in living cells. This provides a field of the dynamics of RNA synthesis and decay and offers the potential for the development of diagnostics and therapeutics based on RNA sequence alone. The third project uses technology developed by SelectX Pharmaceuticals, an antibiotic development company in Worcester Mass. Select X has safe technology to subject growing cultures to continuously increasing antibiotic stress. Using this technology and both protein and nucleic acid mass spectrometry the unusual discovery was recently made that some cells in culture at a cost to their own fitness, are able to help other cells to have enhanced antibiotic resistance. This shows that even in the simplest bacteria altruistic behavior is possible. Key Words: Non-invasive prenatal diagnostics, stochastic noise, detection of RNA in living cells, bacterial altruism.
Additional Info: 

Charles Cantor is a founder, and Chief Scientific Officer at SEQUENOM, Inc. He is also founder of SelectX Pharmaceuticals, a drug discovery company based in the Boston area; Retrotope, an anti-aging company; and DiThera, a biotherapeutic company. He is co-director of the Center for Advanced Biotechnology at Boston University, and professor emeritus of Biomedical Engineering. Dr. Cantor has held positions at Columbia University and University of California at Berkeley, and was also director of the Human Genome Center of the Department of Energy at Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory. He has published more than 450 peer-reviewed articles, has been granted more than 60 patents. He co-authored a three-volume textbook on Biophysical Chemistry and the first textbook on Genomics: The Science and Technology of the Human Genome Project. He sits on the advisory boards of more than 15 national and international organizations and is a member of the National Academy of Sciences.

Faculty Website
Charles Cantor - Seminar Flier.jpg

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