Regulation of Wnt Signaling - Science and Therapy

Start Date & Time: 
Monday, 10 April, 2017 - 16:00
End Date & Time: 
Monday, 10 April, 2017 - 17:00

Amphitheater, Level 2, Duke-NUS

Speaker Details: 

Prof. David Virshup

Professor & Director, Programme in Cancer & Stem Cell Biology,
Duke-NUS Medical School


Wnt signaling is essential in both development and homeostasis, and its dysregulation is implicated in multiple disease states including cancer. The role of Wnts in adults can be defined by genetic and pharmacologic manipulation of Wnt secretion. Recent identification of genetic mutations in upstream regulators of Wnt sensitivity defines a subset of cancers that may respond to treatment with upstream Wnt inhibitors. Wnt secretion can be blocked by genetic ablation or small molecule inhibition of the membrane bound O-acyl transferase PORCN that is required for the post-translational modification of all Wnts. Consistent with a central role of Wnt signaling in regulation of cancer gene expression, inhibition of PORCN causes a marked remodeling of the transcriptome. Inhibition of Wnt signaling by PORCN inhibition holds promise as differentiation therapy in genetically defined human cancers.


About the Speaker

David Virshup, MD, is the inaugural Director of the Program in Cancer and Stem Cell Biology at the Duke-NUS Medical School in Singapore and Professor of Pediatrics at Duke University School of Medicine. Prior to moving to Singapore in 2007, he spent 17 years at the University of Utah, where he directed an active research program and was also a practicing pediatric hematologist/oncologist. His laboratory studies Wnt Signaling and signaling through protein phosphorylation with a secondary focus on circadian rhythms and Protein Phosphatase 2A. Virshup received his medical degree and research training from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He is a member of the American Society of Clinical Investigation, the Association of American Physicians, a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and is currently the Asia Editor for the Journal of Clinical Investigation.