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Seminar by Dr. Parag Katira on Mechanics of Cancer
December 5, 2022 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Title: Mechanics of Cancer
Cancer is a disease rooted in genetic mutations and epigenetic regulation of cell biology. There is extensive heterogeneity in the biological drivers of this disease across cancer types, across patients with one type of cancer, and even within tumors within a single patient, making early cancer diagnosis, accurate prognosis and treatment challenging. We take the view that all the varying biological factors influencing cancer ultimately lead to similar mechanical outcomes that define the disease – uncontrolled cell proliferation and tumor growth within the host tissue environment, cell migration and invasion of neighboring tissues, and formation of secondary neoplasms within the invaded tissues. Can the mechanics of these physical processes then shed light on key elements of cancer occurrence and progression? Can these mechanistic insights provide avenues for better prognosis and treatments of cancer? This talk will describe our efforts to understand the role of mechanics in cancer progression, some interesting physical paradoxes that cancer progression presents and what biological insights if any can be gained from such understanding.
About the Speaker:
Dr. Parag Katira is an Associate Professor in Mechanical Engineering and Associate Director of the Computational Sciences Research Center at San Diego State University. He is also the program coordinator for the Bioengineering Graduate Program at San Diego State University. Prior to his current position, he was a Research Scientist at Columbia University in New York from 2013-2015 and a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Texas at Austin from 2009-2013. He completed his PhD. in Materials Science and Engineering from the University of Florida in 2009. His current research focuses on modeling active matter systems such as assemblies of driven cytoskeletal filaments, cellular collectives on 2D and in 3D environments, and tissue dynamics during processes such as wound-healing and cancer. His research is funded by grants from the US National Science Foundation, Department of Defence Army Research Office and the National Institutes of Health. He was awarded the 2021 Outstanding Leadership in Engineering Award by the San Diego County Engineering Council for his efforts on transforming engineering education and training at San Diego State University.