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January 13, 2021 — 4:00pm - 4:45pm

Virtual Event

Brilliant Minds Webinar Series: “Targeting cancer with vaccines and new therapies”


Brilliant Minds Webinar Series header

Our ICRF Presents: Brilliant Minds webinar series returns on Wednesday, January 13 at 4 pm ET for a conversation on viruses and cancer vaccines during Cervical Cancer Awareness Month. 

We know that about 20% of human cancers, including cervical cancer, are linked to viruses. Almost all cases of cervical cancer are caused by Human Papillomavirus (HPV), a very common infection also associated with head and neck and other cancers. As you’ll hear from Dr. Mark Israel, ICRF Executive Director Emeritus, and ICRF Trustee Sue King, since the introduction of the highly efficacious HPV vaccine Gardasil®, the vast majority of occurrences of this disease—once a leading cause of cancer deaths among women in the U.S.—are now largely preventable. 

But, what about the remaining 80% of cancers not caused by viral infection? We’ll hear from ICRF-funded scientist Dr. Uri Ben-David from the Department of Human Molecular Genetics and Biochemistry at Tel Aviv University about a recent breakthrough from his laboratory that bring real hope for near-term advances in treating those tumors.

Dr. Ben-David’s research focuses on a fundamental, understudied trait of cancer called aneuploidy – the presence of an abnormal number of chromosomes in cancer cells – and the potential of using this trait to target cancer cells and eliminate tumors. Though a characteristic of most solid tumors, including cervical cancer, there are currently no therapeutics that target this hallmark of cancer. Dr. Ben-David’s lab is developing novel strategies to “crack the code” of this unique phenomenon and, by doing so, aspires to make aneuploidy a therapeutic target for precision cancer medicine.


  • Aneuploidy: an abnormal number of chromosomes, evident as extra copies of some chromosomes and too few copies of others.
  • Aneuploid cell: a cell that contains an abnormal number of chromosomes.
  • Chromosome: a DNA molecule containing some or all of the genetic material of an organism.  Most human cells contain 46 chromosomes, 23 from mom and 23 from dad. As you’ll see in today’s slides, the 23 human chromosomes can be easily recognized by microscopy, using appropriate stains. Geneticists number human chromosomes by size, with chromosome 1 being the largest. 
  • Diploid cell: a cell that contains chromosomes from both mom and dad. Most cells in humans are diploid. 
  • Haploid cell: a cell that contains chromosomes from only mom (an egg cell) or dad (a sperm cell).
  • Mitosis: cell division. During mitosis, DNA replicates, then chromosomes line up in pairs in the mother cell and are shared equally between the two daughter cells.

All webinars in our Brilliant Minds series are complementary,
but registration is required to receive Zoom access link.

Advance Q&A submissions are encouraged and can be submitted at registration.

View the full Brilliant Minds webinar series, including previous webinar recordings here.

To learn about webinar sponsorship opportunities, please contact: Alan Herman.

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