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Seminar on Tissue Engineering for Bone Cancer  

Scientist pipetting a vialThe Rose Mercadante Chemistry and Biochemistry Seminar Series is pleased to present a seminar by Dr. Jenny Zilberberg of Hackensack University Medical Center entitled "The Osteoblastic Tumor Niche in Multiple Myeloma."

The seminar will be held on Tuesday October 16, 2018 from 5:45 – 7 p.m. in the Helen Lerner Amphitheater, Science and Technology Center, Seton Hall University. Refreshments are available at 5:30 p.m.

Over the past eight years, Dr. Zilberberg's research interest has been geared towards the development and biological characterization of tissue engineering platform to enable the study of cancers that reside in, or metastasize to, the bone/bone marrow niche. Preclinical testing in multiple myeloma has been hampered by the lack of an available system that enables the ex vivo maintenance of primary patient-derived MM cells. To address this, she has been working on the development of technologies to reproduce the bone/bone marrow microenvironment of multiple myeloma to study the biology of this disease, perform chemosensitivity analyses, and conduct preclinical evaluations leading to the discovery of novel therapeutic targets.

This transdisciplinary effort has resulted in the establishment of novel tissue engineering platforms, which we showed to be suitable for: (1) the ex vivo preservation of MM and the recapitulation of key environmental cues present in vivo in the tumor niche leading to osteolytic lesions and (2) culturing primary murine and human osteocytes while preserving ex vivo the production of sclerostin and FGF23, two key in vivo biomarker of primary osteocytes, for the first time to our best knowledge.

In addition to my experience with bone/bone marrow niche models, she has worked extensively on the development of novel immunotherapeutic treatments to potentiate the graft-versus-tumor effects of bone marrow transplantation without causing graft-versus-host disease, using various murine models of hematological malignancies, including acute myeloid leukemia and multiple myeloma.

This presentation to the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Seton Hall University I will provide a comprehensive overview of our ex vivo platforms and will also discuss recent findings on: (1) drug resistance induced by the tumor microenvironment in multiple myeloma, and (2) microenvironmental changes induced by metastatic prostate cancer cells in the bone niche.

Dr. Zilberberg is Associate Scientist in the Department of Biomedical Research, Hackensack University Medical Center, Hackensack, NJ. She holds a B.S. degree from Universidad Simón Bolívar, Venezuela and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from The Pennsylvania State University. She served as a postdoctoral fellow at Thomas Jefferson University/Hackensack University Medical Center.

The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry offers B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. degrees with specializations in all areas of chemistry. Our unique research environment, including traditional full-time students and part-time students is designed to foster collaborations with industry and colleagues in other disciplines. The Rose Mercadante Seminar Series is named for Rose Mercadante, the departmental secretary for over 40 years, in honor of our alumni, her "boys and girls."

Categories: Health and Medicine , Research

For more information, please contact:

  • Maureen Grutt
  • (973) 761-9414
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