Conferences and symposiums

Minisymposium on Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma – epidemiology, genetics, EBV, and pathobiology

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2017-05-3009:00 to 16:30 Nobel ForumCampus Solna

Welcome to this VR‐NSFC funded Minisymposium on Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma

For registration e-mail Marie Linden. Sandwiches for lunch and coffee will be served, so please register to attend.

For scientific enquiries e-mail Professor Weimin Ye  


Moderators for the morning session are Professor Hans-Olov Adami and Professor Youlin Qiao

09:00 – 09:10 Welcome by Professors Maria Masucci and Weimin Ye
09:10- 09:50 Professor Lawrence S Young: The role of Epstein-Barr virus in nasopharyngeal carcinoma: from cause to cure
09:50- 10:30 Professor Maria Masucci: Molecular mechanisms of infection-driven pathogenesis
10:30-11:00 Coffee break
11:00-11:40 Dr. Allan Hildesheim: NPC Epidemiology
  Topic 1: Development and Validation of a Novel anti-EBV Antibody Based Risk Stratification Signature for the Early Detection of NPC
  Topic 2 Whole Exome Sequencing of Individuals from Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma (NPC) Multiplex Families Reveals Novel Variants Potentially Involved in NPC.
11:40- 12:10 Professor Weihua Jia: NPC Genetics
12:10-13:10 Lunch break

Moderators for the afternoon session are Professor Weimin Ye and Professor Ingemar Ernberg

13:10 – 13:50 Professor Ingemar Ernberg: The different roles of EBV in NPC pathogenesis
13:50 –14:30 Professor Maria Li Lung: Genomic Landscape of Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma
14:30 –15:00 Coffee break
15:00 –15:20 Dr. Miao Xu: The effects of EBV subtypes on nasopharyngeal carcinoma
15:20 –15:40 Dr. Ameera A M Adam: Nasopharyngeal carcinoma in Sudan :Epidemiology, pathology, clinical characteristics and Epstein-Barr virus Association
15:40 –16:00 Dr. Lu Ping Tan: Nasopharyngeal carcinoma in Malaysia
16:00 –16:20 Professor Weimin Ye: NPC Population-based case-control Study in China
16:20 –16:30 Closing remarks

Background information of Speakers and moderators

Professor Lawrence S Young, Vice President ,University of Warwick ,UK.

Lawrence Young is internationally recognised for his work on the role of virus infection (Epstein–Barr virus and human papillomavirus) in the pathogenesis of various tumours. He also has an interest in gene and immunotherapy and this work has resulted in a number of clinical trials. He has published over 230 research papers in scientific journals as well as reviews and book chapters in the fields of virology, cancer and tumour immunology. Lawrence’s main research interest is in the role of EBV infection in the pathogenesis of nasopharyngeal carcinoma and how this understanding can be exploited to develop improved approaches to tumour diagnosis and treatment.

Professor Maria Masucci, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, International Affairs,Karolinska Instittutet ,

Maria Grazia Masucci is Professor of Virology and since May 2015 Deputy Vice Chancellor for International Affairs of the Karolinska Institutet. She earned her MD (1977) and specialization in Oncology (1980) at the University of Ferrara (Italy) and her PhD in Tumor Biology at the Karolinska Institutet (1985). Her research aims to understand how tumor viruses stimulate cell growth and how the host immune defenses deal with the infected cells. Her studies focus on the induction of DNA damage and genomic instability in cells infected with oncogenic herpesviruses. Professor Masucci is a member of EMBO, of the Swedish Royal Academy of Sciences and of the Nobel Assembly at Karolinska Institutet that awards the Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine.

Dr. Allan Hildesheim, Senior Investigator, National Cancer Institute, USA

Dr. Hildesheim was Chief of the Infections and Immunoepidemiology Branch from 2008-2017. He received his Ph.D. in epidemiology from The Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health in 1991 and has been at the NCI since 1987. Dr. Hildesheim's research focuses on understanding host and viral factors involved in the pathogenesis of DNA virus-related tumors and in the evaluation of efficacy and underlying immunological mechanisms associated with licensed prophylactic HPV vaccines. Dr. Hildesheim conducts large-scale population studies to investigate exogenous and host factors involved in the pathogenesis of DNA virus-related tumors. He investigates two groups of tumors—female gynecological cancers linked to HPV and nasopharyngeal cancer (NPC) linked to EBV. Both viral and non-viral factors hypothesized to be involved in the pathogenesis of HPV- and EBV-related cancers are examined, since infection alone is rarely sufficient for the development of cancer. Dr. Hildesheim is also the co-lead on studies to evaluate the long-term impact of HPV vaccination and the immunological mechanisms involved in long-term vaccine efficacy.

Professor Weihua Jia, Principle Investigator, Professor, State Key Laboratory of oncology in Southern China; Director, Tumor Bio-bank, Sun Yat-Sen University Cancer Center.

Professor Weihua Jia obtained her PhD of Medicine in Epidemiology from Peking Union Medical College. After her PhD training, she joined the Department of Experimental Research at Sun Yat-sen University Cancer Center, State Key Laboratory of oncology in Southern China. Prof. Jia has long been devoted to research on cancer epidemiology, cancer genetics and genomics, especially in interactive effects among EB virus, genetics and environment in nasopharynx carcinoma, and susceptible gene of cancer. She has published more than 100 SCI papers in world renowned journals such as Nature Genetic, JNCI and AJHG. She investigated the long-term trend and risk factors of nasopharynx carcinoma in high-incidence area. She first reported a relationship between smoking and reactivation of EB virus and proposed its potential etiological role for nasopharynx carcinoma. Besides, she discovered new susceptible genes of nasopharynx carcinoma, including DNA repair genes, metabolism genes for exogenous compounds and series of genes related to immune response and established predictive model for onset risk of nasopharynx carcinoma. More research interests involved discovering new susceptible genes of colorectal cancer, lymphoma and identifying the genomic characteristics that contribute to the tumorigenesis and prognosis of esophageal carcinoma. She awarded the National Ten-thousand Talents in Scientific and Technological Innovation by Ministry of Science and Technology (2016), the National Science Fund for the Distinguished Young Scholar (2013). At present, she is Vice-chair of Chinese Anti-Cancer Association Cancer Epidemiology Professional Committee, Vice-chair of the Tissue biological samples branch for Chinese Medicine Biotechnology Association, Chair of Guangdong Anti-Cancer Association Cancer Epidemiology Professional Committee.

Professor Ingemar Ernberg, Department of Microbiology, Tumor and Cell Biology, (MTC) Karolinska Institutet

Ingemar Ernberg is Professor of Tumor Biology. Ernberg got his PhD at Karolinska Institutet with George Klein in 1979, finished his MD in 1984, studied abroad in Omaha, Nebraska 1986 and at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge UK 1988-1990. He was secretary of science at the Swedish Cancer Society 1983-93. He was the first chair of the new department Microbiology and Tumorbiology Center (MTC) of Karolinska 1993-1999. He is now the chairperson for the Karolinska Institute (KI) Cancer Network organizing 135 research groups.  He has been the coordinator for KI collaborations with China, while he heads his research group of 10 at MTC. Among his awards are the 2007 P.R. of China award for International Cooperation in Science and Technology and the 2007 PR China National friendship Award. Ingemar Ernberg’s work deals with tumor viruses in man, cancer genetics, lymphoma biology, transcritional regulation (HIV, EBV) and epigenetics (methylation). Total 245 publications; 8302 citations; 37 average citations; h-Index = 50. One seminal discovery established that the B-lymphocyte is the site of EBV-latency in vivo (Gratama et al, PNAS, 1988), another one on the regulation of EBV by epigenetic methylation. More recent interests have dealt with genomic signatures and global gene expression profiles, as well as designing methods to allow quick analysis of the gut normal flora.  This has led to an increasing interest in tissue biology, self-organization of biological systems and the possibilities and limits of simulations in silico as an additional scientific tool. 

Professor Maria Li Lung, Professor, Department of Clinical Oncology, University of Hong Kong

Maria Lung received her BA from Cornell University and PhD from Stanford University in the US. After a postdoc at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, she joined the Department of Microbiology at HKU. She subsequently moved to the Department of Biology at HKUST and became one of its founding members. She was the founding director of the Center for Cancer Research at HKUST. In 2009, she returned to the HKU as a Chair Professor in the Department of Clinical Oncology. Her main research interests focus on elucidating the molecular genetic basis of two cancers of importance in Chinese, nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) and esophageal carcinoma (ESC). Her research led to discoveries of critical regions/candidate tumor suppressor genes contributing to the development of these tumors. More recent interests involve using next-generation sequencing (NGS) approaches to elucidate the genetic susceptibility and to understand the tumor molecular landscape of NPC and ESCC. She is currently the Director of an Area of Excellence group grant that established a Center for NPC Research focusing on basic, translational, and clinical research. This AoE grant includes several universities and public hospitals and basic, translational, and clinical research efforts focused on the importance of NPC in Hong Kong.

Dr. Miao Xu, Associate Professor, Sun Yat-sen University Cancer Center, Guangzhou, Guangdong, China.

Dr. Xu has focused her work on nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) and Epstein-Barrvirus (EBV) since 2013 when she started her research work in Prof. Yi-Xin Zeng’s group at Sun Yat-sen University Cancer Center. Currently she is focusing on the characterization of NPC-associated EBV subtypes, They have sequenced and analyzed the whole genomes of EBV from more than 300 clinical samples. By the accumulation of EBV and host genetic information from different EBV-associated diseases, they aim to elucidate that: (1) whether there are disease- and/or geographic-specific EBV subtypes contributing to the geographical endemic of NPC; (2) characteristics of NPC-associated EBV subtypes and NPC-associated EBV genes and loci; (3) how EBV subtypes differ in their life cycle, infection and oncogenic capability; (4) how EBV co-evolves and interacts with host and how their interaction contributes to NPC.

Dr. Ameera A M Adam, Assistant Professor, Department of Histopathology and Cytology Faculty of Medical Labrotary Sciences, Al Neelain University, Sudan

Dr. Adam’s current research  focuses on determining genetic susceptibility to nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) in the Sudanese population. Dr Adam is also focusing on the use of Epstein-Barr virus serology and viral load in diagnosis, screening and follow-up of NPC patients in Sudan. The  aim is to determine EBV virus strains in NPC patients in Sudan. Previously she has researcherd clinical features, epidemiology and pathology of NPC in Sudan and its association with EBV.

Dr. Lu Ping Tan, Molecular Pathology Unit, Cancer Research Centre, Institute for Medical Research, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Dr. Lu Ping Tan joined the Molecular Pathology Unit, Cancer Research Centre, Institute for Medical Research, Ministry of Health Malaysia, in early 2003. She obtained her BSc in Biochemistry from University of Buffalo, the United States of America in 2002 and completed her MSc in Medical Sciences research work on colorectal cancer from the University of Malaya in 2005. Her PhD study in the University of Groningen, the Netherlands from 2006 to 2009 was about lymphoma and miRNAs. She had contributed 2 technical book chapters related to miRNAs and published her work related to miRNAs in lymphoma as well as the transcriptomic and genomic aspects of Nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC). Her current research focus is on translational cancer research including identification of biomarkers, risk/susceptibility genes and development of non-invasive tests and screening programme for early detection of NPC, as well as potential targets for new therapeutic. In addition, she also plays multiple active roles in establishing and running the Biobank under the Ministry of Health Malaysia, planning of laboratories for the Genomics core facility for the institute as well as setting up companion diagnostics service for cancer.  

Youlin Qiao , MD, PhD, Professor and Director for Department of Cancer Epidemiology, Cancer Institute, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical College Beijing, China

Before returning back to China in 1997, he was training for 11 years at Johns Hopkins University School of Hygiene and Public Health and Cancer Prevention Studies Branch, NCI/NIH, USA. He is also director of International Collaboration Department, Cancer Foundation of China, and Deputy Director of the MOH National Expert Committee for Cancer Screening and Prevention in China. He is an author on over 500 peer reviewed publications in both English and Chinese. As an expert in cancer prevention and control, he served as WHO Director-General’s Cancer Control Advisory Committee and WHO’s Cancer Technical Advisory Groups for helping to promote cancer prevention and control programs in developing countries. He is involved in many national and international projects to study etiology, primary intervention, and early detection of a variety of cancers through multidisciplinary and global collaborations. He received 2011 WHO/IARC Medal of Honor and 2016 Health China Top Ten Public Figures.

Professor Weimin Ye, Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Karolinska institutet

Professor Ye’s scientific work focuses on epidemiology and etiology of head & neck and upper gastrointestinal cancers. He has so far published over 280 scientific articles. His scientific activities include register-based research, large epidemiological field work, and molecular epidemiology.

Contact person: Weimin Ye