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Air Date: November 5, 2019 | Length: 47:38
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In the battle to defeat cancer, award-winning UHN researcher Dr. Mathieu Lupien is a modern-day version of the Bletchley Park World War Two codebreakers. Dr. Lupien searches the human genome, trying to crack the origin of how and why cancer starts. He knows deciphering that enigmatic code is one of the keys that will lead to a cure for cancer. He explains how the human genome is like a road map to the inner workings of what makes us, well, us—and the many ways cancer disrupts that journey, and why researchers are now looking at the dark genome (so-called "junk DNA") for the source to cancer's origins.
Dr. Lupien also talks about the Terry Fox loonie he carries in his pocket at all times as a reminder of the commitment and importance of the work done in his lab, how a line in a TV show he watched as a child in Quebec has fuelled his research career," and his advice for kids who want to go into science.
Dr. Mathieu Lupien is a Senior Scientist at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre and an Associate Professor in the Department of Medical Biophysics at the University of Toronto. He earned his Ph.D. at McGill University in 2005, after which he pursued postdoctoral training in medical oncology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School, as an Era of Hope fellow. Dr. Lupien is recognized for three seminal discoveries, namely that epigenetic modifications on histones can discriminate cell type-specific noncoding gene regulatory elements; that epigenetic alterations at gene regulatory elements underlie cancer initiation and progression; and that noncoding genetic alterations promoting cancer development preferentially target gene regulatory elements. Among other honours, Dr. Lupien is a recipient of the Investigator Award from the OICR, the New Investigator Salary Award from CIHR, the Rising Star in Prostate Cancer Research award from PCC/Movember and the Till and McCulloch Discovery of the Year award.