Seminar by George Kassiotis
Human endogenous retroviruses and the development of cancer
Retroviral Immunology, The Francis Crick Institute, London, UK
George Kassiotis is a Senior Group Leader and head of the laboratory of Retroviral Immunology at the Francis Crick Institute, London, UK. He is also a Professor of Retrovirology, at the Department of Infectious Disease, Imperial College London, UK. His laboratory's current work concentrates on innate and adaptive immune responses to retroviruses, particularly of the endogenous type. Recent studies suggests that retrovirus endogenisation events continue to shape host immunity and other physiological systems over long evolutionary times and through diverse mechanisms. Some acquire novel function that provides a host fitness advantage, a process known as exaptation. However, this evolutionary adaptability is also exploited by cancer cells in a process termed onco-exaptation; and both will be discussed.