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NextGen Discovery Series – Nov. 7, 2023

The NextGen Precision Health Discovery Series provides learning opportunities for UM System faculty and staff across disciplines, the statewide community and our other partners to learn about the scope of precision health research and identify potential collaborative opportunities. The series consists of monthly lectures geared toward a broad multidisciplinary audience so all can participate and appreciate the spectrum of precision health efforts. 

Information about this upcoming talk, including continuing education, is available below.

For questions about this event or any others in the Discovery Series, please reach out to Veronica Lemme at

Developing a Microbial-Based Immunotherapy Against Pancreatic Cancer

Speaker: Chiswili Yves Chabu, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences, College of Arts & Science, Biological Sciences, University of Missouri

Date: Nov. 7, 2023, Noon-1 p.m.

Location: Tom and Linda Atkins Family Seminar Room, Roy Blunt NextGen Precision Health building


Oncogenic activation of KRAS is associated with pancreatic cancers (PCa) that are highly aggressive and resistant to all existing therapies. Patients acquire resistance to chemotherapy and/or targeted therapies. KRAS-directed therapy is available only to a fraction of patients (harboring the G12C KRAS allele); however, emerging clinical data show that these patients quickly develop resistance. The limited therapeutic landscape of PCa is further compounded by PCa’s resistance to immunotherapy. Checkpoint blockade immunotherapy generates durable survival benefits in other systemic cancers, but the fibrous and immunologically inert nature of PCa microenvironment limits the infiltration and activity of cancer-fighting immune components. Breaking these immune barriers across KRAS allele subtypes represents the most direct path to generating durable survival benefits that will broadly benefit PCa patients. I will discuss our efforts to develop a bacterial biologic that targets and converts PCa into an immunologically active milieu, thereby sensitizing this deadly disease to immunotherapy.

About the SpeakerChiswili Yves Chabu

Dr. Chabu received his Ph.D. from the University of Oregon/Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) where he worked on understanding the molecular mechanisms that control the cortical polarity, stemness and mitotic potential of neural stem cells. Following completion of his Ph.D., Dr. Chabu joined Yale School of Medicine/HHMI for his post-doc and fellowship. At Yale, he used synergizing drosophila and mouse models of oncogenic RAS tumors and discovered novel intercellular signaling dynamics explaining how oncogenic RAS drives tumor overgrowth. Since starting his lab at MU in 2017, Dr. Chabu has been combining basic cancer cell biology with translational approaches to gain actionable insights into the molecular mechanisms of cancer drug resistance. He is especially interested in how oncogenic KRAS or EGFR cooperates with co-occurring genetic alterations to promote cancer progression and resistance to potent drugs, including immunotherapy.


Continuing Professional Education Credit

Successful Completion of this activity, which includes participating in the educational offering, participating in the evaluation process and completing the verification of attendance, enables the learner to satisfy the requirements for continuing education.

Nursing Contact Hours

University of Missouri Sinclair School of Nursing is approved as a provider of nursing continuing professional development by the Midwest Multistate Division, an accredited approver by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation (ANCC). 

1.0 contact hour may be awarded.


The University of Missouri-Columbia School of Medicine is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians. 

The University of Missouri-Columbia School of Medicine designates this live educational activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™. Physicians should only claim the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Financial Relationships

Current ACCME and Midwest Multistate Division, ANCC rules state that participants in continuing education activities should be made aware of any relevant affiliation or financial interest in the previous 24 months that may affect the planning of an educational activity or a speaker’s presentation(s). Each planning committee member and speaker has been requested to complete a financial relationship reporting form for the NextGen Precision Health Discovery Series. No planning committee member or speaker has a relevant financial interest.