Institute for Frontier Life and Medical Sciences, Kyoto University

Seminar Series of Stem Cell Genetics

Date: October 11, (Fri.) 2019 16:00~17:00
Room: Seminar Room, 1st floor, Bldg. #2 of Institute for Frontier Life and Medical Sciences ,Kyoto University
Speaker: Dr. Vincent Keng
Associate Professor
Department of Applied Biology and Chemical Technology
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University
Title: Using transposable elements to manipulate
the genome for cancer research


The war on cancer has been going on for many decades and in general, its research has progressed tremendously and many important genes that promote tumorigenesis have been identified.  However, it is becoming increasingly clear that cancer is a very heterogenous disease.  In order to have a more focused and effective means of treating cancer, greater research is required to further study these genes at the genetic level on how they work and influence each other in promoting the disease.

To help address these challenges, transposable elements or jumping genes are used as a genetic investigative tool in the mouse genome in both a forward and reverse genetic manner, to recapitulate human diseases.  In addition, these genetic tools are currently being used in human cell lines for more translational applications.  We have used an oncogenic transposon vector to randomly mutate the mouse hepatic genome to induce cancer and metastasis.  By analyzing the transposon insertion sites, we have identified many novel and interesting candidate genes.  We are currently validating these candidate genes in vitro and in vivo using these transposons in a reverse genetic manner.  Importantly, new genetic tools such as the CRISPR/Cas9 system can also be incorporated with these transposable elements for cancer research.

In this seminar, I would like to present a snapshot of what is currently being addressed in our laboratory in the context of the liver cancer research, both basic science and translational aspects.  Several important liver cancer research areas of interest to us include: hepatitis viral induction, fatty-liver or steatosis, metastasis and drug resistance.


Biography: Dr. Keng completed his PhD at Fukui Medical University in 2001. He then conducted postdoctoral researches at Osaka University and University of Minnesota, where he developed and applied the Sleeping Beauty transposon system for in vivo cancer gene discovery. He was appointed as an assistant professor at the Hong Kong Polytech University in 2012, and recently promoted to associate professor. His main research focus is to understand the molecular basis in liver cancer.


*This is an English seminar.

Invitator Lab. of  Stem Cell Genetics
Kosuke Yusa  Tel 075 -751-4005