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Event Detail (Archived)

The Origins of Blood Cancers

Event Details

Friday Lecture Series
Benjamin L. Ebert, M.D., Ph.D., George P. Canellos, M.D. and Jean S. Canellos Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School; chair, department of medical oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute; institute member, The Broad Institute; investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute

Clonal hematopoiesis of indeterminate potential (CHIP) is a common, age-associated condition in individuals who do not have a hematologic malignancy or altered blood counts. CHIP is defined by the presence of clonal, somatic mutations that are found in hematologic malignancies such as myelodysplastic syndrome, myeloproliferative neoplasms, and acute myeloid leukemia. Indeed, the mutations identified in CHIP, including mutations in DNMT3A, TET2, and ASXL1, are lesions that are commonly acquired early in the genetic ontogeny of hematologic malignancies, prior to the development of overt disease. Consistent with the concept that CHIP is a pre-malignant state, CHIP is associated with a striking increased risk of hematologic malignancy. In addition, individuals with CHIP have increased overall mortality and an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. In murine models, Tet2 inactivation in blood cells, transplanted into Ldl receptor knockout mice, leads to accelerated atherosclerosis. Individuals with JAK2-mutant CHIP have an elevated risk of venous thrombosis. Individuals with CHIP at the time of autologous stem cell transplant for lymphoma have an elevated risk of developing therapy-related myeloid malignancies. CHIP is therefore a common condition, and clonal mutations in blood cells can contribute to diverse pathologic processes.

Benjamin Ebert’s laboratory focuses on the genetics, biology, and therapy of myeloid malignancies. This work has led to the characterization of clonal hematopoiesis as a pre-malignant state for hematologic malignancies, and elucidation of the mechanism of action of lenalidomide and related molecules that induce degradation of specific proteins.

Dr. Ebert received a bachelor's degree from Williams College, a doctorate from Oxford University, and an M.D. from Harvard Medical School. He completed a residency in internal medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital and a fellowship in hematology/oncology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. He has served as president of the American Society for Clinical Investigation and is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine and the Association of American Physicians. His awards include a Rhodes Scholarship, the Till and McCollough Award from the International Society of Experimental Hematopoiesis, the William Dameshek Prize from the American Society of Hematology, and mentoring and teaching awards from Harvard Medical School.

Justin Sloboda
(212) 327-7785
Open to
Sohail Tavazoie
Refreshments, 3:15 p.m. - 3:45 p.m., Abby Lounge
Justin Sloboda
(212) 327-7785

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