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The T antigen Oncoprotein: Inducing Cell and Student Transformation


Research considers transformation of cells and students;topic of March 27 lecture at Elizabethtown College

Dr. Jane Cavender leads students on journey during research project

ELIZABETHTOWN, PA (03/07/2012)(readMedia)-- The Office of the Provost

and Senior Vice President at Elizabethtown College hosts the final event in the Inaugural Scholarship Series, commemorating the inaugural year of the College's 14th president. This last lecture of 2012, slated for 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 27, features Dr. Jane Cavender, professor of Biology, who presents "The T antigen Oncoprotein: Inducing Cell and Student Transformation." The lecture takes place in Room 212 of the College's James B. Hoover Center for Business. A reception follows. The lecture and reception are free and open to the public.

Simian Virus 40 produces a protein, the large T (tumor) antigen, which is able to initiate and maintain tumors in experimental animals. In the laboratory, Dr. Cavender and her students study the transformation of cells in culture from "normal to tumorigenic" in hopes of revealing exactly what host mechanisms are disabled during the cancer progression. The students are tackling two broad research endeavors: One group is attempting to pinpoint how this protein blocks adult stem cell differentiation; the other is narrowing down the activities of the protein that are responsible for the morphological changes seen in the nucleus of aggressive cancers.

"Research and discovery are at the heart of learning at Elizabethtown," said Dr. Cavender. "During the process, our students are transformed from inexperienced undergraduates to enlightened scientists."


Elizabethtown College, in south-central Pennsylvania, is a private coed institution offering more than four dozen liberal arts, fine and performing arts, science and engineering, business, communications and education degrees. Through personal attention, creative inspiration and academic challenge, Elizabethtown College students are encouraged to expand their intellectual curiosity and are given the opportunity to become a bigger part of the world through experiential learning-research, internships and study abroad. Elizabethtown College's overall commitment to Educate for Service is fulfilled as students are taught intellectually, socially, aesthetically and ethically for lives of service and leadership.

Visit www.etown.edu for more information about Elizabethtown College.