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Fall Steelman Distinguished Lecturer, Dr. Kevan M. Shokat from the University of California, San Francisco presents

November 7 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Kevan M. Shokat, PhD, Steelman Distinguished Lecture speaker

Kevan M. Shokat, PhD
Professor and Chair
Department of Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology
University of California, San Francisco

Department of Chemistry
University of California, Berkeley

Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute

Title of Talk: “Overcoming the Undruggable Nature of The Most Common Human Oncogene K-Ras”

This seminar will be in 1131 Bioinformatics.

Please join us and show support for our seminar speakers!

(For those unable to attend, a zoom link is available upon request to MiMi Le.)

Host: The Steelman Committee


Talk Abstract: Somatic mutations in the small GTPase K-Ras are the most common activating lesions found in human cancer, and are generally associated with poor response to standard therapies. Efforts to directly target this oncogene have faced difficulties due to its picomolar affinity for GTP/GDP and the absence of known allosteric regulatory sites. I will discuss the development of small molecules that irreversibly bind to a common oncogenic mutant, K-Ras G12C. These compounds rely on the mutant cysteine for binding and therefore do not affect the wild type protein (WT).  New covalent molecules targeting K-Ras G12S and G12R are currently under development and will be discussed.  I will also discuss ways to leverage the immune system to overcome drug resistance.

About Dr. Shokat: Kevan M. Shokat is currently an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Professor in the Department of Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology at the University of California at San Francisco and Professor in the Department of Chemistry at the University of California at Berkeley.  He received his B.A. in Chemistry from Reed College in 1986, his Ph.D. in organic chemistry at UC Berkeley with Professor Peter Schultz and carried out post-doctoral work in cellular immunology at Stanford University with Professor Chris Goodnow. Kevan’s research group is focused on the discovery of new small molecule tools and drug candidates targeting protein/lipid kinases, GTPases, and RNA helicases. His laboratory utilizes the tools of synthetic organic chemistry, protein engineering, structural biology, biochemistry and cell biology. He was inducted into the National Academy of Sciences (2010), the National Academy of Medicine (2011), and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (2011).  In 2023 he was awarded the Vollum Prize from Reed College, the National Academy of Sciences Award for Scientific Discovery and the Sjöberg Prize from the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences for discoveries that enable the inhibition of mutated K-Ras in cancer treatment’.  He has commercialized discoveries from his laboratory through co-founding several biotechnology companies including Intellikine, Araxes, Wellspring Biosciences, Kura Oncology, eFFECTOR Therapeutics, Mitokinin, Revolution Medicines, Erasca and Kumquat Biosciences.


November 7
4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Event Category:


Mimi Le


1131 Bioinformatics
130 Mason Farm Rd
Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27514 United States
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