Cancer Biology Research

Cancer Biology: Understanding the basis of cancer to deliver precision clinical care

Pursuing the basic mechanisms that propel cancer

The Cancer Biology (CB) Program explores genetic, molecular and cellular actions that initiate tumor formation, drive cancer progression, and shape response or resistance to therapy.

Research Themes

  1. Tumorigenesis / Genetic Instability: Members investigate cellular mechanisms that drive tumor progression along the cascade from initiation to metastasis, including regulation of cell cycle checkpoint control, DNA damage and repair, genetic and epigenetic alterations, and cell state identity). The goal is to uncover mechanisms critical to the progression and evolution of cancer that can be targeted for therapy.
  2. Signal Transduction: Members investigate the influence of extrinsic and intrinsic cell signaling mechanisms on neoplastic cell state (e.g. stem-to-differentiation), proliferative status, and apoptotic vulnerability. Investigators elucidate upstream regulatory mechanisms (e.g. receptor-ligand interactions) and downstream influences (e.g. transcriptional regulation, phenotypic behavior) to differentiate between benign and aggressive disease, and identify anti-cancer therapeutic targets and mechanisms of treatment resistance.
  3. Tumor microenvironment: Members investigate the function of cells in the tumor microenvironment, including mesenchymal cells, immune cells, and vascular cells, and their impact on neoplastic cell behavior relevant to proliferation, survival, metastasis, heterogeneity, and drug resistance. The goal is to define the tumor microenvironment in the context of tumor progression, to identify novel properties for therapy, and develop the tumor microenvironment as a biomarker for monitoring response to treatment.

Program Members