Cancer Biology

Cancer Biology

Pursuing the basic mechanisms that propel cancer

The Cancer Biology Program explores genetic, molecular and cellular actions that initiate tumor formation, drive cancer progression, and shape response or resistance to therapy. We are building a foundation for discovering new treatments that will improve outcomes for people with cancer.

Research Themes

1. Signal Transduction

We investigate cellular signaling mechanisms relevant to neoplastic cell proliferation, including integrated functions of growth factors, their receptors, intracellular signaling, and transcriptional regulation to identify therapeutic anti-cancer targets and mechanisms of resistance to current therapeutics.

2. Carcinogenesis / Genetic Instability

We investigate cell-intrinsic and -extrinsic mechanisms that predispose to cancer, including regulation of cell-cycle checkpoint control, DNA damage and repair, genetic and epigenetic alterations, and how these events can be impaired during stem cell development. Deeper understating of these mechanisms is pointing the way to new targets for precision cancer therapy.

3. Tumor microenvironment

We investigate the interactions of tumor cells with mesenchymal support cells, immune cells, and vascular cells and how those interactions direct proliferation, survival, tumor evolution, and drug resistance. The goal is to reveal properties of the tumor microenvironment that can be targeted for therapy.

Program Leaders