February 20, 2020

Discovery Lecture to feature head and neck cancer expert Grandis

Jennifer Grandis, MD, a leader in discovering and targeting key signaling pathways in head and neck cancer, will deliver the next Flexner Discovery Lecture on Thursday, Feb. 27.

Jennifer Grandis, MD

Her lecture, “Head and Neck Cancer Precision Medicine,” will begin at 4 p.m. in 208 Light Hall. It is sponsored by the Department of Otolaryngology.

Grandis is the Robert K. Werbe Distinguished Professor in Head and Neck Cancer at the University of California, San Francisco.

Grandis and her team have developed translational resources to support studies of head and neck cancer, which affects nearly 600,000 individuals worldwide each year. Their resources include a collection of patient-derived biospecimens linked to clinical information on treatment and survival.

Grandis’s group and others have implicated mutations involving PI3K signaling pathways in more than half of head and neck cancer associated with human papillomavirus infection and in one-third of HPV-negative head and neck cancer. They have also discovered that activation of STAT3 is an early event in head and neck cancer carcinogenesis and have generated and tested a STAT3 blocker in preclinical models and in patients in a phase 0 clinical trial.

Grandis is an American Cancer Society Clinical Research Professor and an elected member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation, the Association of American Physicians and the National Academy of Medicine.

For a complete schedule of Flexner Discovery Lectures and archived video of previous lectures, go