Department of Immunology, Genetics and Pathology, Uppsala University
Jan Dumanski is a chair professor of experimental pathology at Uppsala University, Sweden since 2000. He studied medicine at the Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland 1979-1984. After moving to Sweden, he received his Ph.D. in 1990 from Karolinska Institutet, became associate professor in 1994 at Karolinska Institutet and moved to Uppsala University in 2000. His main interest throughout his carrier has been studies of genetic mechanisms behind cancer development. During the recent 10 years, his research focus has been on investigations of post-zygotic (also called somatic, acquired during lifetime) genetic variation in phenotypically normal cells and its impact on various human phenotypes.
Women and men have different sets of sex chromosomes; women have two X and men have an X and a Y chromosome. It is also known for several centuries that men on average live shorter than women, but the mechanisms behind these differences are not well understood. We have recently discovered that an acquired during lifetime loss of chromosome Y (LOY) in normal blood cells in adult or aging men is associated with: a) shorter survival and a significant risk of developing cancer in various organs in the body ; b) strongly increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease (AD); and c) that smoking is strongly associated with LOY, which may explain why smoking is a major risk factor for cancer and Alzheimer’s disease in men and, ultimately, why the men on average live shorter than women. Our goal now is to study mechanisms which underlie LOY, predisposing to cancer and AD and the latest results from ongoing projects will be discussed. We also want to develop the possibilities of using LOY as a marker for assessing the risk of cancer or AD. We expect that there is a causal link between LOY and these diseases, which can eventually lead to an offer LOY-screening program for all adult men. We envision that within 5-15 years, all adults / aging men to take advantage of LOY-status analysis. Because the men on average live shorter and have a higher risk of developing majority of sex-unspecific cancers, we expect that our results in the future will lead to lower mortality among aging men.
Host: Aristidis Moustakas
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