Seminar- Charley Lineweaver, PhD

November 6, 2013 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm


Speaker: Charley Lineweaver is a cosmologist and astrobiologist at Australian National University’s Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics. His recent research includes the evolutionary origins of cancer. His other work is on the structure of the cosmic microwave background – the fading afterglow of the big bang – and the search for extra-solar planets.

Location: Biodesign Auditorium

Web Cast: View Webcast 

Date & Time: November 14th, 2013 12:00 p.m.

Title: Therapeutic Implications of the Atavistic Model of Cancer

Abstract: Cancer’s evolutionary roots can be traced by at least to the dawn of multicellularity 1.5 billion years ago. In that evolutionary context, cancer appears to be a type of atavism, or reversion to an ancestral phenotype, in which gain of function is really regain of deeply-embedded ancient functionalities. These capabilities, such as unrestrained proliferation, represent a strength of cancer that frustrates many therapeutic strategies. But reversion is also an Achilles heel, because cancer cells will lose more recently evolved functionalities, making them vulnerable to “modern” challenges, and opening the way to therapies based on targeting the weaknesses instead of the strengths. In this lecture I will describe how cancer decouples from the adaptive immune system, making tumors more susceptible to infection than healthy tissues – a fact that was well known a century ago, but has been widely forgotten.


Thank you and if you have questions please contact Christina Cates! And don’t forget, coffee will be served!

Christina Cates, Center for the Convergence of Physical Science and Cancer Biology

Arizona State University | P.O. Box 871504 | Tempe, AZ 85287

480.965.0342 | Fax: 480.965.6362



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