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19th Annual Allen and Lee-Hwa Chao Lectureship in Cancer Research in Honor of H. H. Chao

Dr. Witte photo

Owen Witte, MD

Director, UCLA Broad Stem Cell Research Center
University Professor, University of California
Presidential Chair in Developmental Immunology
Professor, Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Molecular Genetics

Community Lecture

Finding the right targets for effective cancer therapy

6:00 p.m., Wednesday, February 13, 2019
Pre-lecture reception at 5:00 p.m.
The Arnold & Mabel Beckman Center of the National Academies of Sciences & Engineering (map)
100 Academy Drive, Irvine, CA 92617

RSVP for the Community Lecture to Genevieve Mendoza Laurent at gmendoza@uci.edu or 714-456-3944 by February 6, 2019

Scientific Lecture

Convergent evolution to a stem cell phenotype in epithelial cancers

12:00 p.m., Thursday, February 14, 2019
Pre-seminar lunch and coffee at 11:30 a.m.
Thorp Conference Center 4th Floor, Gross Hall
Sue and Bill Gross Stem Cell Research Center

Click here to RSVP for the Scientific Lecture by February 6, 2019

About the Speaker

Owen Witte received his undergraduate degree from Cornell and his MD from Stanford University. He completed postdoctoral research at MIT then joined the faculty at UCLA where he presently is a University Professor of Microbiology, Immunology and Molecular Genetics and holds the President's Chair in Developmental Immunology. He is the Director of the Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research at UCLA.

Dr. Witte has made significant contributions to the understanding of human leukemias, immune disorders, and epithelial cancer stem cells. His work includes the discovery of tyrosine kinase activity for the ABL gene and the demonstration of the BCR-ABL oncoproteins in human leukemias. This has had practical impact in leading to the development of kinase targeted therapy as an effective treatment for these leukemias and other cancers. His work also led to the co-discovery of Bruton’s tyrosine kinase (BTK) which is required for normal B-lymphocyte development, and when mutated leads to X-linked agammaglobulinemia, a form of immune deficiency. New inhibitors for BTK are entering clinical practice for the treatment of certain lymphomas and leukemias. Recent work has concentrated on defining the stem cells for epithelial cancers of the prostate and other organ sites to help define new types of therapy for these diseases.

Dr. Witte is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the National Academy of Medicine. He has received many awards for his research including most recently the AAMC Award for Distinguished Research in Biomedical Sciences (2016) and the Stanford Medical School Kornberg-Berg Lifetime Achievement Award in Biosciences (2016).

He has extensive experience consulting in the biotech and pharmaceutical industry. Most recently, he was a Founder, Chairman of the Scientific Advisory Board and member of the Board of Directors of Kite Pharma. He currently is a Founder and member of the Board of Directors of Trethera Corporation, on the Board of Directors and Scientific Advisory Board at Allogene Therapeutics, and a Founder and Scientific Advisory Board Chair at Kronos Bio.

About the Allen and Lee-Hwa Chao Lectureship in Cancer Research in Honor of H. H. Chao

The Allen and Lee-Hwa Chao Lectureship in Cancer Research was established in 1999 with a gift from Allen Chao and his wife Lee-Hwa Chao. The Chao family has been generous contributors to UC Irvine and the Cancer Center over the years, with three generations of Chaos giving nearly $30 million to the campus. The cancer center is named in the family's honor.

The lecture series is named in honor of the Chao family patriarch, the late H. H. Chao and provides a forum to share and discuss topics related to cancer research, prevention and treatment. Each year the lectureship hosts an internationally renowned leader in cancer research, who delivers a technical colloquium in addition to a public lecture. Both lectures are free and open to the public. Past Lecturers »