BIOE Seminar: Targeting Platinum Resistance in Ovarian Cancer

Friday, April 7, 2023
9:00 a.m.
A. James Clark Hall, Room #2121
Dr. Joe Huang

Imran Rizvi 
UNC Chapel Hill/ NC State
Assisant Professor
Curriculum in Toxicology & Environmental Medicine

Targeting Platinum Resistance in Ovarian Cancer: Fluid Shear Stress, Environmental Contaminants, and the Role of Photodynamic Priming


Ovarian cancer is the most lethal gynecologic cancer, largely due to the development of
platinum-based chemotherapy resistance. Understanding sources of chemoresistance,
and developing mechanism-based treatments, are critical to improving outcomes for this
lethal disease. Our lab focuses on the role of mechanical stress, specifically fluid shear
stress, and environmental contaminants, on platinum resistance in ovarian cancer. The
development of low-dose photodynamic priming regimens is central to targeting these
sources of resistance.

Fluid Shear Stress: Increasing evidence suggests that ascites (the abnormal
accumulation of fluid in the peritoneum) promotes ovarian cancer progression, facilitates
the spread of tumor cells, and portends the poorest outcomes. Recent findings on fluid
shear shear stress and resistance to platinum-based chemotherapy in ovarian cancer
will be presented.

Environmental Contaminants: Perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are endocrine
disruptors that pollute drinking water supplies worldwide. Recent findings on PFAS-
induced carboplatin resistance in ovarian cancer cells, potentially by enhancing
mitochondrial function, will be discussed.

Photodynamic Priming: The ability of photodynamic priming, a light-based treatment
modality, to overcome resistance using photosensitizers that, in part, localize to, or are
synthesized in, mitochondria, will be presented.

Speaker Bio: 

Imran Rizvi is an Assistant Professor in the Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering
at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and North Carolina State University.
He received his Ph.D. in Engineering Sciences from Dartmouth College and completed
his postdoctoral training at the Wellman Center for Photomedicine, Massachusetts
General Hospital, Harvard Medical School. He has co-authored 59 peer-reviewed
publications and 6 book chapters on therapeutic applications of light, bioengineered 3D
models and animal models of cancer, and survival mechanisms in tumors. He has
served in leadership positions for several national and international organizations and is
an Associate Editor for Photochemistry and Photobiology, the official journal of the
America Society for Photobiology.

Audience: Public 

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