Research News

"Transcriptional Regulation of Telomerase in Cancer

As part of the Regulation of Gene Expression course in the Department of Molecular Genetics and Biology at Al-Quds Bard College/Al-Quds University, Dr. Jessica Gu from the Stanford Cancer Institute/ Stanford University School of Medicine was invited to give a lecture to the students. The lecture, titled "Transcriptional Regulation of Telomerase in Cancer" took place on April 27th 2024 via zoom. This exciting lecture was not limited to the enrolled students of Regulation of Gene Expression course but was also open, free of charge, to students from various universities in Palestine.

Dr. Gu began by vividly explaining the importance of telomeres, those act as protective caps at the ends of our chromosomes. She explained how these structures naturally shorten with age and described the biological mechanisms that drive this process. The discussion then shifted to the main focus: telomerase which is the enzyme responsible for extending telomeres. Dr. Gu’s explanation of how telomerase gene expression is regulated intrigued the students, and emphasize its critical role in both stem cells and cancer cells. Her expertise and knowledge in the field provided an understanding of how cells manage telomere shortening, a key factor in cancer development.

Throughout the lecture, students eagerly engaged with Dr. Gu, asking a highly sophisticated questions and sharing their thoughts. The interactive nature of this lecture made the complex topic accessible and exciting.

The event was moderated by Dr. Mai Baker, a research affiliate and visiting instructor at Al-Quds Bard College, who is also the founder and leader of the Palestinian RNA Group (sponsored by the international RNA society).  Adding to the dynamic atmosphere, students Ensaf Bsharat and Renal Abu Dheir from Al-Quds Bard College and a team members of the Palestinian RNA group played a vital role. They confidently introduced Dr. Gu and facilitated the discussion, ensuring the lecture ran smoothly and effectively.

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