Medicines from the Sea
Lecture date: November 4, 2014. John Williams discusses the potential for cancer cures in marine organisms.
Williams, a researcher at City of Hope cancer research and treatment center, began raising marine animals, including corals, as a graduate student. He learned that corals release powerful chemicals as a response to cuts. His training in chemistry told him they might have beneficial properties as pharmaceuticals. Now, Williams is using his longtime interest in marine organisms to fuel his search for cancer treatments and cures. Highly toxic chemicals naturally excreted by marine animals can be combined with tumor-targeting antibodies for improved cancer treatments.
Williams is an associate professor of molecular medicine, director of the X-Ray Chrystallography Core Facility, and co-director of Drug Discovery and Structural Biology Core at City of Hope, based in Duarte, California. City of Hope has initiated a partnership with the Aquarium to study biologically active compounds in corals and sponges.