Sangmoo Jeong, Ph.D.*
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
Wednesday, February 13th, 2019
10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
Whitaker Building 3115
Emory: Health and Sciences Research Building, E160
Georgia Tech: TEP, stream from your PC (no conf. room)
“Engineering Platforms to Investigate Metabolic Flexibility of Cancer”
Metabolism is an ensemble of biochemical reactions, generating the most fundamental components of our daily lives: energy and building blocks. Our heart, for example, beats more than 4,000 times per hour, and our entire intestinal epithelium is completely replaced by the newly generated cells within 5 days, both of which are tightly regulated by numerous metabolic processes. These fundamental biochemical reactions also play a critical role in tumor progression. Cancer cells consume nutrients and oxygen much more than normal cells, and as a tumor grows, the nutrient level becomes very heterogeneous within the tumor. Surprisingly, cancer cells are able to reprogram their metabolism to adapt and proliferate in these metabolically unfavorable conditions. Also, when they metastasize into other organs, their metabolism is changed to survive in the new biological environment. Unfortunately, it is challenging to investigate this metabolic flexibility of cancer cells, because in vitro tissue culture settings are significantly different from real tumor metabolic environments. The overarching goal of my research is to develop engineering platforms that model tumor metabolic environments accurately and investigate the metabolic features of cancer cells comprehensively. In this seminar, I will present my recent findings on the mechanism of leukemic cells’ metabolic adaptation in glucose--‐limited environments. I will also introduce the sensitive magnetic sensing technology, termed hyperpolarized micro--‐NMR, that enables rapid analysis of metabolic activities in mass--‐limited samples, which will be invaluable to study the metabolic changes of target cells in real--‐time.
Sangmoo Jeong earned his Ph.D. in the Department of Electrical Engineering at Stanford University. He is currently a postdoc in the Department of Radiology at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. His major research achievements are i) developing a hyperpolarized micro-NMR system for analyzing metabolic flux in cancer stem cells and ii) identifying the molecular mechanism of metabolic changes in leukemic cells in response to glucose deprivation. Dr. Jeong has published 18 peer-reviewed journal papers and has two patents granted. He is a recipient of the NIH Pathway to Independence Award (K99/R00).
Host: Sakis Mantalaris