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FAU’s Frontiers in Science Public Lecture Series Hosts ‘Good Neighbors-Bad Neighbors: How the Village Influences Cancer Growth and Response to Therapy’

BOCA RATON, FL (February 6, 2008)– Florida Atlantic University’s Charles E. Schmidt College of Science will continue its 2008 Spring Frontiers in Science public lecture series with a presentation by Dr. Zena Werb, professor and vice chair of anatomy at the University of California at San Francisco. “Good Neighbors-Bad Neighbors: How the Village Influences Cancer Growth and Response to Therapy” will take  place on Thursday, February 7 at 3:30 p.m. in Room 126 in the Charles E. Schmidt Biomedical Science Center, 777 Glades Road, Boca Raton.   

“There is a growing awareness that inflammation promotes cancer,” said Werb. “Visualizing how inflammatory cells interact with tumors in real time has given us an entirely new perspective on tumor growth and therapy.”

Werb will discuss how tumors do not consist of cancer cells alone, but instead are aberrant organs with mutant bad cancer cells that recruit cells into their neighborhood.   In her research, Werb has found that while some of the recruited cells police the tumor to keep it in check or even destroy the tumor, others aid and abet the tumor cells giving them nourishment to help the tumor cells move out and take over new neighborhoods.   Werb also will address whether the “bad actors” can be identified and then targeted by therapy while sparing the good cells that control the tumors.

Werb is a highly recognized, honored and respected scientist nationally and internationally. She most recently was a visiting professor at the Max-Planck Institute for Biochemistry in Martinsried, Germany.

This lecture is free and open to the public, sponsored by the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science and supported by FAU’s Lifelong Learning Society Endowed Professorship.

 The reception that follows the program is made possible by the Warren Lloyd Holtzman Seed Grant, a component of the Community Foundation of the New River Valley.

For more information, contact Patsy Jones at 561-297-1307 or


Florida Atlantic University opened its doors in 1964 as the fifth public university in Florida. Today, the University serves more than 26,000 undergraduate and graduate students on seven campuses strategically located along 150 miles of Florida's southeastern coastline. Building on its rich tradition as a teaching university, with a world-class faculty, FAU hosts ten colleges:  College of Architecture, Urban & Public Affairs, Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts & Letters, the Charles E. Schmidt College of Biomedical Science, the Barry Kaye College of Business, the College of  Education, the College of  Engineering & Computer Science, the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College, the Graduate College,  the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing and the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science.   

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