Purdue to host 4th annual International Breast Cancer Prevention Symposium

September 22, 2014  


Sophie A. Lelievre

Sophie A. Lelièvre 
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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - A global panel of breast cancer experts and researchers will meet at Purdue University on Oct. 16-18 for the fourth annual International Breast Cancer Prevention Symposium.

 The three-day event, titled "Genes, the Environment and Breast Cancer Risk" and organized by the Purdue-led International Breast Cancer and Nutrition (IBCN) Group, will take place in Stewart Center, Room 218. It is free for Purdue faculty and staff. The full registration fee is $325.

"The symposium will take us on a journey across disciplines to study different levels of gene-environment interactions," said event co-organizer Sophie A. Lelièvre, a professor of basic medical sciences in Purdue's College of Veterinary Medicine and associate director of collaborative science for the Purdue Center for Cancer Research.

Connie Weaver

Connie Weaver 
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Working as co-chairs of the IBCN with Lelièvre are Connie Weaver, a distinguished Purdue professor and head of the Department of Nutrition Science; and Martine Bellanger, a professor of health economics at the EHESP French School of Public Health.

Dr. Barbara K. Dunn, medical officer in the Chemoprevention Agent Development Research Group at the National Cancer Institute's Division of Cancer Prevention, will deliver a keynote talk. She will explore the epigenetic mechanisms of gene expression control, health policy and practices, and the socioeconomic and cultural contexts in which these environmental factors come into play.

A major focus of this symposium is breast cancer prevention around the world with speakers from Israel, Lebanon, Ghana, France, China, Uruguay and Denmark.

Rami Aqeilan was born in East Jerusalem and is an associate professor at the Lautenberg Center for Immunology and Cancer Research, Hebrew University-Hadassah Medical School of Jerusalem. He will discuss his most recent research involving the early events contributing to breast cancer and pediatric osteosarcoma initiation and progression.

Dr. Aqeilan has researched the role of fragile genes in cancer development and how defects in DNA damage response checkpoints are associated with fragile genes.

Other topics during the symposium will include: "From Risk to Tumor: Transition Mechanisms," "The Molecular Bases of Nutritional Influence on Breast Cancer Prevention," "Epigenetic Memory and Breast Cancer Risk," "Behavior and Breast Cancer Risk," and "Gene-Environment Interactions that Impact Policies."

Weaver said the event's goal is to highlight the interdisciplinary nature of breast cancer research and how the perspectives of experts in diverse fields from different countries is critical to address this major global health challenge.

"This symposium will highlight the advancements we believe we can make by bringing together public health experts and researchers in breast cancer prevention with the brightest minds in biological, engineered and animal models, nanotechnology, tissue banks, data hubs, nutritional models, behavioral models, economic and business models, health-care policy models and communication," she said.

The IBCN, involving the World Health Organization and the International Agency for Research on Cancer, is focusing initial efforts in the U.S. and Ghana, as well as France, Uruguay and Lebanon. Since the inaugural conference in October 2010, the International Breast Cancer Prevention and other IBCN-related conferences have been held in France, Uruguay and Lebanon.

Additional sponsors for the 2014 symposium to date from Purdue are the Oncological Sciences Center and the Bindley Bioscience Center in Discovery Park, the Purdue Center for Cancer Research, Office of the Provost, College of Veterinary Medicine, College of Health and Human Sciences, College of Liberal Arts, College of Agriculture, Department of Nutrition Science, Susan Bulkeley Butler Institute for the Development of Women Leaders, Department of Statistics and the Statistical Bioinformatics Center.

External supporters and sponsors for the annual event are the Catherine Peachey Fund, Visitor Guard, Institute National de Prevention et d Education pour la Santé (INPES, France), and Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Santé Publique (France). 

Writers: Emily Sigg, 765-494-4719, esigg@purdue.edu 

Phillip Fiorini, 765-496-3133, pfiorini@purdue.edu  

Sources: Sophie A. Lelièvre, 765-496-7793, lelievre@purdue.edu   

Connie Weaver, 765-494-8237, weavercm@purdue.edu 

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