September 7, 2023

Registration available for Westwood Lecture on Sept. 21

pt-deborah-knapp-wls Deborah Knapp Download image

Registration is available for the Westwood Lecture Series on Sept. 21. 

Deborah Knapp, Distinguished Professor of Comparative Oncology, the Dolores L. McCall Professor of Comparative Oncology and director of the Evan and Sue Ann Werling Comparative Oncology Research Center, will discuss “A New Era in Comparative Medical Research and Opportunities to Position Purdue as a World Leader” from 4:30-5:30 p.m. at Westwood, the Purdue president’s residence.

A program aimed at enhancing the intellectual vibrancy of the Purdue West Lafayette campus, the Westwood Lecture Series is an opportunity for Purdue faculty to interact with colleagues on scholarly work.

Information about Knapp’s Sept. 21 presentation can be found below. Space is limited to the first 50 faculty who register online.

A New Era in Comparative Medical Research and Opportunities to Position Purdue as a World Leader

Deborah Knapp

Distinguished Professor of Comparative Oncology, the Dolores L. McCall Professor of Comparative Oncology and director of the Evan and Sue Ann Werling Comparative Oncology Research Center

Abstract. This presentation will center on comparative oncology research in which studies of specific forms of naturally occurring cancer in pet dogs are designed to ultimately improve the outlook for humans, as well as pet dogs facing cancer. A brief overview of the field and its critical importance will be given. The presentation will also touch on four areas:

  1. Challenges including the high failure rate of new cancer drugs in human clinical trials and the reasons for these failures, and challenges in aligning veterinary researchers to respond to new opportunities in comparative medical research.
  2. The incredible opportunities that have emerged in the last five years, including growing buy-in for the value of canine studies in comparative cancer research, and unprecedented increases in funding for canine research.
  3. The reasons why Purdue can be well positioned as a world leader in this field.
  4. A suggested roadmap forward.

Bio. Deborah W. Knapp, DVM, is the Dolores L. McCall Professor and Distinguished Professor of Comparative Oncology in the Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences at Purdue University. She earned her BS degree from North Carolina State University in 1980, DVM from Auburn University in 1983, and MS/Veterinary Medical Oncology Residency Certificate from Purdue in 1988. After postdoctoral research in cancer pharmacology and tumor immunology, she joined the Purdue faculty in 1990. Dr. Knapp directs the Werling Comparative Oncology Research Center in the College of Veterinary Medicine and is on the senior leadership team in the NCI-designated Purdue University Institute for Cancer Research. Her work is conducted at the interface of studies at the bench, animal model work and translation of important findings to humans. Dr. Knapp’s research is strongly focused on invasive urinary bladder cancer in which the naturally occurring form of the cancer in dogs serves as a highly relevant model for the human condition, and she is nationally and internationally known for work defining and using this model. She chairs the steering committee for the National Cancer Institute’s Integrated Canine Data Commons and serves on the steering committee for the NCI-funded Pre-medical Cancer Immunotherapy Network for Canine Trials.

Future Fall 2023 Westwood Lecture Series Events 

Oct. 18: Songlin Fei — Professor and Dean’s Chair of Remote Sensing, Forestry and Natural Resources. “A Digital Revolution in Forestry: AI and Lasers and Digital Twins, Oh My!”

Nov. 16: Ed Delp — Charles William Harrison Distinguished Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, professor of biomedical engineering, professor of psychological sciences (courtesy). “Deep Fakes and Other Types of Generated and Manipulated Media: It Is Real and Coming for Our Society!”

Dec. 13: Preeti Sivasankar — Professor and head, Department of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences; assistant vice president for strategic health research, Office of Research; adjunct faculty, IU School of Medicine — West Lafayette. “Can You Protect Your Voice? Physiological Investigations From Rats to Humans.”


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