August 23, 2018

Breast Cancer Prevention Symposium accepting abstracts and registration

The International Breast Cancer and Nutrition will host the Eighth Annual IBCN Symposium on Technology, Engineering, and Data Science on Oct. 8-9 at Purdue. This symposium is a concentrate of diversity in terms of disciplines, backgrounds and countries that is necessary to develop new directions of research for the fight against the local and global effects of breast cancer.

Registration for the event is open, and the deadline to submit an abstract has been extended until Aug. 30. The symposium location rotates every year, says IBCN co-leader Sophie Lelièvre. professor of cancer pharmacology.

“Having the symposium back to Purdue with a theme of engineering and data science for primary prevention of breast cancer after a three-year tour in Guadeloupe, California and Uruguay is a great opportunity to showcase how technologies may revolutionize this type of research,” says Lelièvre, who heads the breast cancer discovery group at the Purdue University Center for Cancer Research. “It only made sense to have the symposium topic chosen for this year developed at Purdue, where the Center for Cancer Research has been leading the way to interactions between life scientists and engineers.”

The symposium will feature speakers and topics including nutrition, medical care, epigenomics, public policy, advocacy, epidemiology, public health, statistics and bioinformatics, communication and media, social sciences, biomedical research and other cancer prevention topics. Primary prevention of cancer requires understanding how the environment influences the epigenome. New technologies are becoming readily available to gather vast amounts of data, and emerging models such as organs-on-a-chip will enable individualized cancer prevention. By using population data and “omics” data from a diverse group, data science can harness information to develop appropriate prevention interventions worldwide.

The keynote speaker will be Sharon Ross of the Division of Cancer Prevention, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health. Ross will be speaking on the future of data science.

Postdoctoral and graduate trainees are encouraged to submit abstracts for selection for the Catherine Peachey Oral Presentation Award, which carries a $500 prize. This session is one of the highlights of the symposium.

Registration for the two-day symposium is required and can be found here. Registration is free to Purdue University members; refer to internal mails or email Michelle Liratni at to request the passcode.

Other information about the symposium, program, organizing committee, and the IBCN project can be found here. IBCN is a project under Purdue's Discovery Park and the Purdue University Center for Cancer Research.


The international breast cancer and nutrition (IBCN) project is focused on breast cancer prevention research to inform health communication, interventions and public policy. This project benefits from a global perspective through the establishment of culturally aware multidisciplinary and international collaborations.

The development of breast cancer prevention strategies will be facilitated by a better knowledge of the epigenetic regulation of DNA (i.e., a series of mechanisms resulting in the reorganization of chromatin, in particular, via posttranslational histone modifications and DNA methylation, and that control the expression and silencing of genes). One way to identify epigenetic factors that influence breast cancer development in response to the environment is to focus on nutrition since dietary patterns have been associated with breast cancer and nutrients are known to impact gene expression (nutrigenomics). Once the diet-epigenetic interactions that protect or weaken the breast epithelium have been identified, it will be possible to develop breast cancer prevention strategies.


Discovery Park is a place where Purdue researchers move beyond traditional boundaries, collaborating across disciplines and with policymakers and business leaders to create solutions for a better world. Grand challenges of global health, global conflict and security, and those that lie at the nexus of sustainable energy, world food supply, water and the environment are the focus of researchers in Discovery Park. The translation of discovery to impact is integrated into the fabric of Discovery Park through entrepreneurship programs and partnerships.


As a National Cancer Institute-designated cancer center, the Purdue University Center for Cancer Research is making significant contributions to emerging technologies such as cancer vaccines and combination chemotherapy. We specialize in translational research that saves lives by translating laboratory findings into new and innovative therapies as quickly as possible.

Writer: Sarah Anderson,, 765-494-1386
Source:  Sophie Lelièvre,, 765-496-7793

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