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About the Speakers

Sergio FantiniSergio Fantini, PhD
Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Associate Dean for Graduate Education in the School of Engineering at Tufts University. Professor Fantini’s research focus is in the area of biomedical optics, specifically in diffuse near-infrared spectroscopy and the imaging of biological tissues. His research laboratory has ongoing projects aimed at the noninvasive, functional imaging of the brain, the study of optical signatures of peripheral nerve activation, and the development of novel instrumentation for optical mammography. Professor Fantini’s lab has developed a novel approach to spectral imaging of the human breast that shows promise for the detection, diagnosis, and monitoring of breast cancer.


Charlotte KuperwasserCharlotte Kuperwasser, PhD
Assistant Professor in the Department of Anatomy and Cellular Biology at Tufts University School of Medicine; investigator at the Molecular Oncology Research Institute, Tufts Medical Center. Dr. Kuperwasser’s lab works on breast cancer, with interests in the cellular origins of tumor formation, cancer progression, and metastasis. Dr. Kuperwasser has been working toward an understanding of the role of the tissue microenvironment in breast cancer metastasis and has developed a humanized animal model to identify cellular elements in the bone stroma (cell types, growth factors, matrix proteins) that promote tumor formation in sites distant from the primary tumor.


Richard Van Etten Richard Van Etten, PhD
Professor of Medicine, Tufts University School of Medicine; Chief, Division of Hematology/ Oncology, Tufts Medical Center; Interim Director, Tufts Medical Center Cancer Center. Dr. Van Etten’s laboratory studies the molecular pathogenesis of human leukemia. The Van Etten lab uses retroviral and transgenic technology to produce accurate and faithful mouse models of leukemia that can be used to identify and evaluate new treatment approaches. Their work was instrumental in identifying the BCR-ABL enzyme as the direct cause of chronic myeloid leukemia (CML). They subsequently identified one of the first ABL mutations that causes resistance to the anti-CML drug imatinib (Gleevec) and are currently testing new treatments for patients with drug-resistant CML.


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