The biology of cancer disparities: an innate immunity story

C.E. Credits: P.A.C.E. CE Florida CE
Speaker
  • Professor, Dept. of Biomedical and Biological Sciences, JLC Biomedical Biotechnology Research Institute, North Carolina Central University
    Biography

      Dr. Kimbro is a biomedical scientist, educator, and community researcher. With a career-spanning nearly thirty years in a wide variety of institutions across this country, Dr. Kimbro has continued to pursue excellence in the classroom and at the bench. He currently serves as a Professor of Biological and Biomedical Science at North Carolina Central University (NCCU) where his research focus involves the innate immune response pathway in cancer development and risk in African American populations. He returned to full-time research after serving as the Director of the Julius L. Chambers Biomedical/Biotechnology Research Institute (Institute). Dr. Kimbro's cancer disparities expertise is widely recognized as evidenced by serving as a peer-reviewer of grants for the National Institutes of Health and his multiple peer-reviewed publications in health disparities. Dr. Kimbro is passionate about developing the next generation of investigators and has consistently been regarded as a favorite among graduate and undergraduate students alike. He is deeply committed to his community and has exercised considerable leadership in the area of health disparities. Prior to joining NCCU, Dr. Kimbro served as the Program Director of the Georgia Center for Health Equality at the Emory University School of Medicine, Winship Cancer Institute, a NIH Center of Excellence (COE). In his role at the Institute, Sean was instrumental in managing a variety of programs and initiatives to identify and address health disparities, particularly in the African-American community. Dr. Kimbro holds a B.A. in Biology from Washington University in St. Louis and a Ph.D. in Biological Sciences, with an emphasis in Molecular and Microbiology from Indiana University. He completed post-doctoral positions at Harvard University Medical School and the National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences at Research Triangle Park, North Carolina.


    Abstract

    Cancer disparities among persons of African descent are driven by both biological and nonbiological factors. There is evidence in breast cancer that psychosocial factors (environment, socioeconomic status, health behaviors, etc.) have a strong influence on racial mortality. After controlling for these factors, overall phenotypic differences in breast cancer pathology remain even after consideration of geographic ancestry. Current molecular evidence suggests that chronic/reoccurring inflammation, driven I in part by the innate immune pathways, contribute to cancer progression and possible outcomes. It is established that one of the most diverse and least well-characterized genomes in the human family are those individuals of African ancestry. Germline variations in innate immune genes have been retained in the human genome offer enhanced protection against environmental pathogens, and protective innate immune variants against specific pathogens.  We will interrogate the role of innate immune variants as part of the basis for explaining the biology of cancer health disparities of persons of African and European ancestry. Evidence will be presented that suggests that racial/ethnic differences in innate immune programs will explain the ethnic differences in both pro- and antitumor immunity, tumor progression, and prognosis, supporting the phenomenon of racial/ethnic disparities in cancer. This presentation will explore examples of protective innate immune genetic variants that are distributed disproportionately among racial populations and linked with racial/ ethnic disparities of breast and prostate cancer.

    Learning Objectives:

    1. At the conclusion of this presentation, participants will be able to discuss the role of geographical ancestry and breast and prostate cancer disparities in persons of African descent

    2. Participants will assess the role of innate immune variants in cancer disparities in persons of African descent


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