Evening Lectures - Ocala

Brent Reynolds

THE TALK: Eco-Oncology: Applying the Principles of Ecology to Oncology

April 28, 2016


There are striking similarities between processes governing growth, dispersal, and persistence of natural populations and initiation and progression of cancers such as brain tumors. Just as individuals in natural populations reproduce and die, cancer cells divide to produce more cancer cells and die due to programmed cell death or predators such as chemotherapy and radiation.

Starting with central tenets of pest management, new therapeutic approaches are being developed to treat aggressive malignant cancers and these approaches are as successful as many standard of care treatments but exhibit reduced toxicity and are simple and cost effective to implement.


Brent A. Reynolds, Ph.D. is currently the CEO of Prana Therapeutics, Inc., and is a Professor in the Dept. of Neurosurgery at the University of Florida and an Adjunct Professor at the University of New South Wales, in Sydney, Australia,

Dr. Reynolds attended the University of Calgary where he received his M.Sc. and Ph.D. in 1989 and 1994, respectively. While working of his Ph.D. thesis, he discovered the existence of stem cells in the adult mammalian brain, a nding that overcame a century old dogma that the mature brain did not have the capacity to repair itself. After graduating, Reynolds co-founded the rst neural stem cell company (NeuroSpheres, Ltd.) where he was a Director and VP of Research. He developed a strong patent portfolio in the neural stem cell eld developing and protecting protocols related to the application of stem cell technology in brain repair. Today, these patents and technology have been licensed to numerous biotechnology companies that are testing the ef cacy in over half a dozen clinical trials for diseases such as spinal cord injury, stroke, ALS and pediatric disorders. In 2004, Reynolds returned to academic science as a Professor at the Queensland Brain Institute at the University of Queensland in Australia where he continued re ning the application of neural stem cells for repairing the damaged brain.

In 2008, Dr. Reynolds joined the Dept. of Neurosurgery at UF where his efforts are focused on studying aggressive pediatric and adult brain cancer and developing novel translational approaches to combat this lethal disease. Working with a multidisciplinary group of scientists, this team is taking the unique approach that cancer can be managed as a chronic disease by applying the principles that have been used in ecology to manage wildlife and pest populations. Based on the lessons learned over the past 80 years by ecologists, the team is focused on using multimodal low toxicity therapeutics to enforcing a stable tumor population that exists below a threshold that has any harmful effects.

Reynolds has more than 70 publications including papers in Science, Nature and Cell with several manuscripts receiving over 1000 citations. In addition, he is an inventor on 18 granted US patents and numerous patent applications. He is also an Honorary Professor at the Queensland Brain Institute, Australia and Program Director for StepAhead, Australia.

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