Wednesday, March 20, 2024

CCMB Seminar: Hui Shen, PhD

4:00 PM to 5:00 PM

Palmer Commons, Forum Hall

"Ovarian Cancer ‘Epigenetics’ – New Tools and Insights"


‘Epigenetics’ is probably one of the most loosely defined terms in science. Most of us ‘epigeneticists’ adhere to the modern operational definition of epigenetics as ‘the study of mitotically and/or meiotically heritable changes in gene function that cannot be explained by changes in DNA sequence’, or the back-translation of it as ‘epi’ (above, on top of) + genetics. As J. Greally points out, the original definition for ‘epigenetics’ is actually cellular in nature, which encompasses cellular reprogramming and cell type formation (‘polycreodism’). We posit that both cellular and molecular aspects are essential to understanding the origination of ovarian cancer. In this seminar I will discuss how menstrual cycle and cell states impact the histotype selection for endometriosis-associated ovarian cancer (EAOC), and a new single-cell RNA-seq technology to study the cellular and molecular landscape for the human Fallopian tube, the site of origin for high-grade serous ovarian cancer (HGSOC).


Short Bio

Dr. Shen received her B.Sc. in biology from Nanjing University and her Ph.D. in genetic, molecular, and cellular biology from the University of Southern California (USC) with a Provost PhD Fellowship. Dr. Shen has been part of The Cancer Genome Atlas team, a multi-institutional effort to better understand the molecular basis of cancer through genomic analysis. She joined VAI in September 2014 as an assistant professor and, in 2023, was promoted to professor. She is currently an F1000 Faculty Member for Cancer Epigenetics and has been awarded the Liz Tilberis Award by Ovarian Cancer Research Alliance, an NIH/NCI ESI MERIT award and an AACR Team Science Award.

Hui Shen, PhD

Hui Shen, PhD

Associate Professor, Department of Epigenetics, Van Andel Institute