Program Details

Discoveries, Treatments and Strategies:   How FAU is Accelerating the Drive Against Cancer (Free Event)

OLLI Boca in partnership with AutoNation

Course Description

OLLI Boca is proud to partner with AutoNation to present this free to the public town hall discussion. Attendees will hear from a panel of FAU’s distinguished pioneers in their fields as they share their work to understand, prevent and fight cancer in new and innovative ways. Ocean-based drug discoveries, immunological and vaccine-based strategies for cancer treatment and prevention, epigenetics, and the multi-disciplinary approach to patient-centered care for those undergoing cancer treatments are just a few of the fascinating topics. Through its DRVPNK Mission, AutoNation is committed to driving out cancer and is raising millions to fund critical research and treatment coast to coast. Join us for this unique opportunity to learn about FAU's role in the fight against cancer. To register for this free event, please call OLLI Boca at 561-297-3185 or email us at

About the Instructor

  • Gregg B. Fields, Ph.D., is the Executive Director of the Institute for Human Health & Disease Intervention (I-HEALTH) and a Full Professor in the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry at Florida Atlantic University. He is also Co-Director of the Memorial Cancer Institute Florida Atlantic University (MCIFAU) Florida Department of Health Cancer Center of Excellence. The Fields research group has focused on extracellular protease-based diseases, with particular attention paid to tumor metastasis, arthritis, and neurodegenerative diseases.

    Patrick Grant, Ph.D., is an Associate Chair and Associate Professor of Biomedical Science at Florida Atlantic University. He currently serves on the Executive Committee of the Memorial Cancer Institute Florida Atlantic University (MCIFAU), Florida Department of Health Cancer Center of Excellence, and is a member of the Stiles-Nicholson Brain at Florida Atlantic University Institute. Dr. Grant researches the role of epigenetics in gene expression, genomic stability, and cancer. He was the first to identify and characterize multiple histone modifying protein complexes, including the archetypal SAGA complex.

    Amy Wright, Ph.D., is a Research Professor, Marine Biomedical and Biotechnology Research at Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute of Florida Atlantic University. Dr. Wright is the Head of the Natural Products Chemistry Group at HBOI. She has conducted research in the field of natural products chemistryand is an inventor on 33 U.S. patents covering medicinal use of marine natural products. Using HBOI’s Johnson-Sea-Link submersible, her laboratory has pioneered the exploration of deep-water habitats to collect unusual organisms that may provide new hope in the treatment of cancer and other dread diseases.

    Mare Cudic, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor and Director of Honors in Chemistry Program at Florida Atlantic University. Dr. Cudic earned her B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry in 1996 at the University of Zagreb, Rudjer Boskovic Institute, Zagreb, Croatia. Her research interests focus on the elucidation of carbohydrate recognition systems of biological and medical importance. In particular, she is interested in the recognition of cancer-associated mucin type O-glycans by endogenous lectins. The ultimate goal is to better understand glycan interactions with their respective receptors that are involved in cancer progression and metastasis.

    MODERATOR Karin Scarpinato, Ph.D., is the Senior Associate Vice President for Research at Florida Atlantic University. Dr. Scarpinato oversees the strategic planning and operations of the Division of Research. As a molecular biologist, she studied DNA repair mechanisms as a postdoctoral fellow at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, Durham, NC. She subsequently conducted cancer research and taught cancer related courses at Wake Forest Medical School. Most recently, she was assistant provost for research at the University of Miami, where she was charged with increasing and supporting research campus-wide.