Prerequisite: Molecular and Cell Biology II BIOL-UA 22.
This course covers the fundamental mechanisms of cancer emergence and evolution. Cancer is a devastating disease with huge medical and economical implications. Since the US declared the “War on Cancer” in 1971, the government has spent billions of dollars in research while patients all around the world spend similar sums in medical bills. These investments have led to significant discoveries and therapeutic improvements, but a definitive cure for cancer remains elusive. The course will cover some of the most important advances in cancer research, with a special emphasis on why basic research is critical to address the challenges posed by this disease. Students will gain a solid foundation on the fundamental molecular and cellular mechanisms behind tumor initiation, progression, and spreading. Students will also learn how tumors evolve and how this evolutionary process is largely responsible for the difficulties in eradicating cancer. The course finishes with discussion of how basic research has enabled novel therapeutic approaches that are bringing us a step closer to cure cancer.