Title: Cellular functionality and plasticity in the senescence spectrum
Abstract: Cellular senescence is induced by various stimuli, with characteristic morphological changes and sustained growth arrest. The accumulation of senescent cells contributes to organismal ageing and age-related diseases such as cancer. The adverse effects of senescence are often attributed to cells losing their natural functions. However, the aspect of these cells gaining new functions is also critical. Cellular function is largely defined by tissue-specific gene expression patterns, representing cellular diversity. I will discuss senescence as a 'gain-of-function' phenotype, introducing the idea of the senescence spectrum, which encompasses senescence diversity.
Masashi is originally a surgeon (MD) by training. He went on to undertake a basic research PhD in the field of apoptosis, before moving to Cold Spring Harbor Laboratories (Scott Lowe’s lab) for his postdoc where he began work on the epigenetic aspects of senescent cells. Masashi joined Cancer Research UK’s Cambridge Institute (CI) in 2006 as a group leader. Still at the CI, he is now the Professor of Senobiology, within the Department of Oncology of the University of Cambridge. Masashi’s group is interested in cellular stress responses, with particular emphasis on cellular senescence and its diverse effector programs.