Translational epigenetics - what epigenetics only can do

Toshikazu Ushijima - National Cancer Center Research Institute, Tokyo

January, 23, 2015
13:00 DKFZ Main Auditorium

Host: F. Lyko

Biosketch Toshikazu Ushijima
Dr. Toshikazu Ushijima is the Chief of Division of Epigenomics, National Cancer Center Research Institute (NCCRI), Tokyo. He graduated from University of Tokyo School of Medicine in 1986, started his research career at NCCRI in 1989, and was promoted to Chief of Carcinogenesis Division (now Division of Epigenomics) in 1999. He also served as Senior Deputy Director of NCCRI from 2011 until 2014. He developed one of the first genome-wide screening techniques for DNA methylation, MS-RDA, in 1997. He identified many aberrant methylations in various cancers, such as the LOX tumor-suppressor gene in gastric cancers and the CIMP in neuroblastomas. Using the identified aberrantly methylated genes, he showed that accumulation of aberrant DNA methylation in normal-appearing tissues was associated with risk of developing cancers, and this led to a novel concept of epigenetic field cancerization. Further, by a multicenter prospective cohort study, assessment of the degree of the field was shown to be useful as a cancer risk marker. Mechanistically, he showed that chronic inflammation triggered by H. pylori infection was critical for methylation induction. In neuroblastoma, the CIMP is now ready for clinical use for prognostic diagnosis. Dr. Ushijima was awarded the Mauvernay Award (JCA), President Award (NCC), Tahara Award (JSGC), and Uehara Helicobacter Award (JSHR). He is serving as a Senior/Associate Editor of Cancer Research, Cancer Letters, Cancer Science, and Gastric Cancer, and as a board member for Cancer Prevention Research, Epigenomics, Clinical Epigenetics, Genome Medicine, and the Journal of Molecular Medicine.

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