Session date: 
Wednesday, March 31, 2021 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm

Ashanti Weeraratna MD, PhD

E.V. McCollum Chair of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Professor and co-Program Leader, Immunology,

Microenvironment and Metastasis Program

Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health


Dr. Weeraratna is currently the E.V. McCollum Chair of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, a

Bloomberg Distinguished Professor, and Co-Program Leader of the Cancer Invasion and Metastasis Program at the Sidney Kimmel

Comprehensive Cancer Center, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. Prior to joining Johns Hopkins, she was the Ira Brind Professor and Co-

Program Leader, Immunology, Microenvironment & Metastasis Program Member at the Wistar Institute. Born in Sri Lanka and raised in Southern

Africa, Weeraratna first came to the United States in 1988 to study biology at St. Mary’s College of Maryland. She earned a Ph.D. in Molecular and

Cellular Oncology at the Department of Pharmacology of George Washington University Medical Center. From 1998 to 2000, she was a postdoctoral

fellow at The Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins Oncology Center, before joining the National Human

Genome Research Institute as a staff scientist. In 2003, she moved to the National Institute on Aging, where she started her own research program,

before joining the Wistar Institute from 2011-2019. Dr. Weeraratna is an expert in melanoma metastasis, Wnt signaling, and aging, and her

research focuses heavily on the effects of the tumor microenvironment on metastasis and therapy resistance. She is one of the first to study how

the aging microenvironment guides metastasis and therapy resistance in melanoma. Her studies encompass biopohysical changes that affect the

ability of both tumor and immune cells to migrate, that affect vasculature integrity thus dictating routes of metastasis, and also secreted changes

that drive metastatic signaling and response to therapy. The Weeraratna laboratory has also undertaken a global analysis of how the aged

microenvironment promotes metastasis, using a unique resource of normal skin fibroblasts from healthy donors of differing ages, proteomics

analysis, and animal models. The clinical implications of these data may also result in a change in clinical practice, as they are finding age-related

differences in responses to both targeted and immunotherapy. Dr. Weeraratna is using these proteomics data to guide further studies on how the

aging microenvironment affects tumor dormancy and cellular metabolism.

Meeting ID: 964 6743 6685 Passcode: 501352
Passcode: 501352
Philadelphia, PA 19107
United States
Session Summary
Available credit: 
  • 1.00 ACPE
  • 1.00 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit
  • 1.00 Attendance
  • 1.00 CNE
  • 1.00 PA

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