Dr Elizabeth Murchison
Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Cambridge UK
The Tasmanian devil, the world’s largest marsupial carnivore, is facing possible extinction in the wild due to a transmissible facial cancer known as Tasmanian devil facial tumour disease (DFTD). DFTD is spread when living cancer cells are spread between animals by biting.
Canine transmissible venereal tumour (CTVT) and Tasmanian devil facial tumour disease (DFTD) are the only two known naturally occurring transmissible cancers that are spread by the direct transfer of living cancer cells. Elizabeth will discuss genetics, evolution, pathogenesis and epidemiology of these clonally transmissible cancers.