Speaker: Dr. Esther Verheyen
Affiliation: Simon Fraser University
Host: Dr. Helen McNeill
Date & Time: January 22nd - 11AM
Place: Medical Sciences Building, Room 4279

Signal transduction pathways are crucial for co-ordinated development and growth of multicellular organisms. Dysregulation and mutations of components in these pathways can often lead to tumourigenesis. The evolutionarily conserved Homeodomain-Interacting-Protein-Kinase (Hipk) is a potent growth regulator and elevated levels of Hipk in Drosophila lead to tumour-like masses resembling those found with activated Jak/Stat signaling. I will talk about our evidence that Hipk is required for Jak/Stat signaling during normal development and in fly blood cancer. I will also describe how Hipk can induce metastatic cell behaviour in multiple contexts. There is increasing evidence that Hipk family members are elevated in certain human cancers and our work will reveal insight into those mechanisms as well as the normal physiological role for Hipk proteins