Seeing is believing: cancer imaging

Written by 
Susan Gammon
Cancer Open House

SBP’s recent Cancer Center Open House event gave guests a unique opportunity to see cancer in a different light—through the eyes of scientists. More than 120 guests took guided tours of faculty labs, giving attendees a behind-the-scenes look into our scientists’ approach to finding new pathways to combat cancer—the second-leading cause of death in the U.S.

SBP Cancer Center Open House Guests

SBP Cancer Center Open House Guests

Nicholas Cosford, Ph.D., deputy director of SBP’s NCI-designated Cancer Center, welcomed visitors with an introduction, including an overview of how Dr. William Fishman and his wife, Lillian, moved from Tufts University in Boston to found the Institute with a pioneering spirit that helped make SBP into the renowned center of discovery it is today.

After light refreshments and mingling with cancer scientists, survivors and research advocates, guests signed up for tours:

Picture This: MRI Imaging
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) helps scientists analyze the structures and functions of proteins and their interactions with drugs. This information is essential for developing new, powerful therapies to treat cancer.
Francesca Marassi, Ph.D.

Eye on Crystals: Crystallography
Using atomic models of proteins, scientists can visualize how molecules interact to create signals that promote cancer, and design drugs to block those interactions.
Robert Liddington, Ph.D.

Getting Big to See Small: Cryo-Electron Microscopy
By assembling 3D maps of cells and their components, scientists can derive models to understand mutations that cause irregularities in cell functions leading to cancer.
Dorit Hanein, Ph.D.

In Focus: Optical Imaging of Cancer Cells
Fluorescent staining of cell proteins helps researchers visualize the cell signals and pathways that drive cancer progression.
Petrus de Jong, M.D., Ph.D.

Fluorescent science at SBP's cancer center open house

“It’s an honor to host the supporters of SBP’s Cancer Center,” said Cosford. “On evenings like this, we learn so much about what the public wants—and needs to know about cancer research. The questions we get from them are always refreshing and out-of-the-box, which is a very valuable experience for us as cancer researchers.”

Special thanks to SBP's Cancer Advisory Board for hosting the event and their support of our postdocs and graduate students who present their research. And thank you as well to Bobbie Larraga and Heather Buthmann who helped coordinate the very special evening.