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Max Birnstiel Lecture with Ben Ebert

11 Nov 2019

Ben Ebert will be our next guest to give a Max Birnstiel Lecture - the IMP’s prime seminar series, named after the late founding director of the institute. Five to six scientists - all distinguished leaders in their fields - are invited every year to deliver one of these outstanding lectures that are open to the public and invariably draw a large audience to the IMP. Don't miss out on our next scientific highlight:

Ben Ebert 
Harvard Medical School

‘The Origins of Blood Cancers’

Wednesday, 13 November 2019, 11.00 a.m.
IMP Lecture Hall, Campus-Vienna-Biocenter 1, 1030 Vienna

Benjamin Levine Ebert is the Chair of Medical Oncology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, a Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, and has a faculty position at the Broad Institute. Recently, Ebert has also been appointed as an HHMI investigator. 

The Ebert laboratory focusses on the molecular basis and treatment of haematologic malignancies. In large-scale genetic analyses of patient samples, the lab has identified somatic mutations that predict prognosis and response to therapies in MDS and AML patients. In addition to human genetic studies, the lab has elucidated molecular drivers of haematopoietic cancers and developed new in vivo models for the study of myeloid malignancies. The lab employs genetic and small molecule screens to identify novel therapeutic targets and small molecules for the treatment of haematologic malignancies and sickle cell disease.

In addition to seminal contributions to the identification and characterisation of drivers and pathomechanisms in MDS and AML, Ben Ebert’s lab has recently deciphered the mechanism underlying anti-leukaemic effects of the drug lenalidomide, which induces selective degradation of the transcription factor Ikaros. These findings sparked a lot of excitement about “hijacking” the ubiquitin-proteasome system for targeting previously undruggable transcription factors. In parallel, in a series of seminal papers, Ben Ebert first described CHIP (clonal haematopoiesis of indeterminate potential) and, more generally, clonal evolution of somatic tissues as a key driving force of chronic diseases and organismal ageing.

Ben Ebert did his undergraduate studies at Williams College, before being awarded a Rhodes Scholarship for his doctorate at Oxford University with this year’s Nobel laureate Peter Ratcliffe. He then obtained an M.D. from Harvard Medical School and completed a residency in internal medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital, as well as a fellowship in haematology/oncology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, before pursuing postdoctoral research at the Broad Institute. Ebert is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine.

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