December 6, 2022  |  12:00 pm  -  12:00 pm

Van Andel Institute Virtual Public Lecture Series: Assembly instructions for cancer

To find cures for cancer, we must understand the nuts and bolts of how the disease starts. Join VAI’s Dr. Evan Worden for a look into cancer’s molecular roots and how his research is revealing the fundamental mechanisms cancer uses to hijack regulation of our genetic code.




Dr. Evan Worden is an assistant professor in the department of Structural Biology at the Van Andel Institute. He received his Ph. D. from the University of California, Berkeley in the Lab of Dr. Andreas Martin, where he studied the mechanisms of deubiquitination by the 26S proteasome. During his postdoctoral work the lab of Dr. Cynthia Wolberger he used Cryo-electron microscopy (Cryo-EM) to uncover the mechanisms of histone methylation by the Dot1L and COMPASS methyltransferases. His postdoctoral work shed light on how these enzymes can be dysregulated in cancer. At the Van Andel Institute, Dr. Worden’s lab is trying to understand the mechanisms our cells use to control the expression of DNA elements called retrotransposons, which make up almost 50% of our genome. Dysregulation of retrotransposons occurs in multiple human diseases such as cancer. The Worden lab is using Cryo-EM to understand how the different molecular machines that regulate retrotransposons function normally so that we have a better understanding of what happens when these regulatory mechanisms fail.