Midsummer Nights’ Science
July 19, 2017
Broad Institute
Cambridge, MA

Ben Ebert
Institute Member, Broad Institute;
Co-Director, Cancer Program at the Harvard Stem Cell Institute
Pre-malignancies & the prevention of cancer

Cancer is caused by a series of mutations that are acquired, in many cases, over many years. But in the beginning, the initiating mutations can lead to a pre-malignant lesion (such as a polyp in the colon) before causing full-fledged disease. Benjamin Ebert will discuss his lab’s work in learning about these pre-malignancies, their clinical consequences, and how to detect them — raising the question of whether clinicians could use this information to prevent the development of some cancers.

Benjamin Ebert is an institute member of the Broad Institute, an associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, leader of the Leukemia Program for the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center, and co-director of the Cancer Program at the Harvard Stem Cell Institute.

Ebert’s laboratory focuses on the molecular basis and treatment of cancers in the blood and lymphatic system, with a particular focus on a group of blood cancers called myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS). In large-scale genetic analyses of patient samples, the lab has identified mutations that predict response to therapies in MDS patients and characterized a pre-malignant state of stem cells in bone marrow. In addition to human genetic studies, the lab has developed novel models to study such cancers. Ebert’s team uses genetic and small-molecule screens to identify novel therapeutic targets for the treatment of sickle cell disease and cancers of the blood and lymphatic system.

Ebert received a bachelor’s degree from Williams College, a doctorate from Oxford University on a Rhodes Scholarship, and an M.D. from Harvard Medical School. He completed a residency in internal medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital and a fellowship in hematology/oncology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute before pursuing postdoctoral research at the Broad Institute.

About Midsummer Nights’ Science
Midsummer Nights’ Science is an annual lecture series that explores key advances in genomics and medicine. This lecture series is held each summer, and is free and open to the general public. Midsummer Nights’ Science at the Broad Institute takes place at 415 Main Street, in Kendall Square in Cambridge.
Copyright Broad Institute, 2017. All rights reserved.

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