The goal of this program is to discover and develop new molecular mechanisms that control growth, differentiation, survival, clonal adaptation and genetic stability in normal mammalian cells and to define perturbations of these mechanisms that are necessary and sufficient for the development of cancer. Members of this group share the overarching principle of the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute to develop novel and less toxic forms of treatment and prevention of malignant diseases. Toward this goal, we must first develop a comprehensive and integrated picture of molecular pathogenesis, a picture that necessarily requires studies of normal, pre-malignant and malignant cells. Members use advanced tools of genetic, cellular and molecular biology to identify interactions between cancer cells and their microenvironment, identify molecular targets for treatment and prevention and identify control points for terminal differentiation, cell cycle arrest, genome protection and apoptosis.
The Cancer Biology program constitutes the foundation of basic science research of the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute. There are three research focus areas designed to help facilitate collaborative interactions: Signal Transduction, Carcinogenesis/Genetic Instability and Apoptosis. Members fall into one or more of these groups.