Cancer Research and Treatment

Presented by Jennifer Prosperi & Thomas O'Sullivan

Cancer, a complex group of diseases, remains one of the most formidable challenges in medicine as currently over 1/3 of all women and men will receive a cancer diagnosis in their lifetimes.  However, significant progress has been made in the past 50 years in understanding, preventing, screening, and treating cancer which has led to a substantial reduction in cancer deaths in the United States.  The goal of this course is to provide participants with the knowledge to understand the biological origin and causes of cancer, identify established (i.e. clinical) and emerging (i.e. research) techniques to screen for and treat cancer, and better understand the clinical trial process that establishes the safety and efficacy of new cancer treatments.  Participants will hear from cancer physicians, cancer researchers, and cancer survivors through a combination of interactive lectures, panel discussions, and laboratory tours.  


About Jennifer Prosperi & Thomas O'Sullivan

Dr. Jeni Prosperi is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at IUSM-South Bend and an Adjunct Assistant Professor in Biological Sciences at the University of Notre Dame. She is a member of the Harper Cancer Research Institute and the Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center. She received her BA in Microbiology from Miami University (Ohio), and her Ph.D. in Integrated Biomedical Sciences from The Ohio State University. Her postdoctoral training was in Surgical Research at the University of Chicago. Work in the Prosperi lab is focused on understanding a tumor’s response to chemotherapy, and designing more effective treatments for patients with triple negative breast cancer. The Prosperi lab has been generously supported by the Navari Family Foundation, Indiana CTSI, Walther Cancer Foundation, and the  American Cancer Society.  Dr. Prosperi is a member of the American Cancer Society – Cancer Action Network, where she actively discusses the importance funding for cancer research and screening with members of congress.

Dr. Thomas O’Sullivan is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering at the University of Notre Dame since 2016. Dr. O’Sullivan is a member of the Harper Cancer Research Institute and engaged in translational biomedical research based upon the development of noninvasive optical imaging and sensing for use in diagnosing and treating breast cancer. Prior to Notre Dame, he was Director of the Diffuse Optical Spectroscopy and Imaging Laboratory at the Beckman Laser Institute of the University of California, Irvine and a U.S. Department of Defense Breast Cancer Research Program Postdoctoral Fellow. He received the B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from Northwestern University in 2005 and the M.S. and Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University in 2007 and 2011, respectively.