Interrogating the Tumor Environment with In Vivo Functional Selection of RNA-Binding Motifs

Friday, September 25, 2015 - 2:00pm
Fung Auditorium, Powell-Focht Bioengineering Hall
Bryan Clary, M.D.

Chair of the Department of Surgery for UC San Diego School of Medicine
Surgeon-in-Chief for UC San Diego Health System

Interrogating the Tumor Environment with In Vivo Functional Selection of RNA-Binding Motifs


The relationship between engineering and surgery should be a natural one that leads to important advances for patients. Surgeons with engineering backgrounds and/or substantive opportunities to collaborate with engineers are thus effectively poised to realize important treatment advances for their patients. With a UCSD engineering background and as a surgeon specializing in the treatment of liver disease, Dr. Clary will introduce attendees to the problem of cancer metastasis to the liver and his laboratory’s efforts to develop strategies to preferentially deliver therapeutics and imaging agents to in vivo sites of disease. These strategies rely on the use of RNA aptamers as a means of defining preferential targets within neoplastic cells. Dr. Clary will further discuss other opportunities for the application of engineering sciences in the treatment of patients with liver metastases. Lastly he will speak more broadly on strategies for collaboration between the UCSD Department of Surgery and the UCSD Engineering Sciences.


February 1st marks the appointment of Dr. Bryan Clary as Professor and Chair of the Department of Surgery and as the M.J. Orloff Family Endowed Chair in Surgery. Dr. Clary joins us from Duke University where he most recently served as Professor of Surgery and Chief of Hepatopancreatobiliary and Oncologic Surgery. Dr. Clary has roots in the Imperial Valley located 90 miles east of San Diego and graduated in 1987 from the University of California at San Diego with a degree in bioengineering. Dr. Clary received his medical degree from the University of California at San Francisco and then completed general surgery residency training at Duke in 1998. Following a fellowship in surgical oncology at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Dr. Clary joined the faculty at Duke University in 2000 with clinical and research activities focused in the field of HPB malignancies. Dr. Clary is a nationally recognized HPB surgeon who maintained a high-volume hepatic surgery practice. In collaboration with multidisciplinary partners he helped to achieve post-hepatectomy and overall HPB disease outcomes that were established to be among the best in the country including top decile performance in morbidity and mortality outcomes (National Surgical Quality Improvement Program). Dr. Clary serves on the executive councils of the Americas Hepatopancreatobiliary Association and the Society of Clinical Surgery and served for 13 years on the NCCN HPB Panel helping to establish guidelines for the management of HPB malignancies. While at Duke Dr. Clary led an independent laboratory whose focus was on the development of reagents that traffic in vivo to systemic sites of metastatic colorectal cancer. These and other studies were the topic of publications in Nature: Chemical Biology, Nucleic Acids Research, Molecular Therapeutics, and others. Dr. Clary has authored 130 refereed publications and is the senior editor of the recently published textbook, Contemporary Surgical Management of Liver, Biliary Tract, and Pancreatic Disease. From 2007-2012, Dr. Clary served as the Program Director of the General Surgery Residency at Duke and helped to develop and mentor more than 75 trainees of which over 70% secured academic surgical positions following completion of their training. Recognizing the need to train surgeons in the complex field of liver, pancreatic, and biliary cancer, Dr. Clary instituted and led the Duke HPB Oncology Surgical Fellowship from 2009-2014.