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 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

    • Appointments and titles

      • Associate Professor of Cell, Developmental and Cancer Biology, School of Medicine
      • Co-leader, Cancer Biology Program, OHSU Knight Cancer Institute, School of Medicine
    • Appointments and titles

      • Assistant Professor of Cell, Developmental and Cancer Biology, School of Medicine
      • Co-leader, Cancer Biology Program, OHSU Knight Cancer Institute, School of Medicine
    • Areas of interest

      • pancreatic cancer, tumor microenvironment, cancer metabolism, epigenetics

Cancer Biology Program Members

    • Appointments and titles

      • Associate Professor of Cell, Developmental and Cancer Biology, School of Medicine
    • Areas of interest

      • MicroRNA, Cancer, Tumor Microenvironment, Cell Engineering
    • Appointments and titles

      • Professor of Cell, Developmental and Cancer Biology, School of Medicine
      • Associate Director for Basic Research, OHSU Knight Cancer Institute, School of Medicine
      • Chair, Department of Cell, Developmental & Cancer Biology
    • Areas of interest

      • cancer, inflammation, tumor immunology, preclinical mouse models
    • Appointments and titles

      • Professor of Molecular and Medical Genetics, School of Medicine
    • Appointments and titles

      • Professor of Cell, Developmental and Cancer Biology, School of Medicine
    • Areas of interest

      • cell biology protein trafficking hereditary hemochromatosis cellular basis of human disease structure function of membrane proteins cancer
    • Appointments and titles

      • Assistant Professor of Molecular and Medical Genetics, School of Medicine
      • CEDAR Scientist, OHSU Knight Cancer Institute, School of Medicine
    • Appointments and titles

      • Professor of Pediatrics, School of Medicine
    • Appointments and titles

      • Professor, Vollum Institute
      • Senior Scientist, Vollum Institute
    • Areas of interest

      • metabolic regulation of gene expression
      • characterization of activity-regulated genes
    • Appointments and titles

      • Professor of Pediatrics, School of Medicine
      • Ray Hickey Chair of the of Pape' Family Pediatric Research Institute, Pediatrics, School of Medicine
    • Appointments and titles

      • Professor of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology, School of Medicine
    • Appointments and titles

      • Assistant Professor of Molecular and Medical Genetics, School of Medicine
      • CEDAR Member, OHSU Knight Cancer Institute, School of Medicine
    • Areas of interest

      • pancreatic development, pancreatic cancer, reprogramming, cancer epigenomics
    • Appointments and titles

      • Professor of Dermatology, School of Medicine
    • Appointments and titles

      • Associate Professor of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology, School of Medicine
    • Appointments and titles

      • Professor, Oregon Institute of Occupational Health Sciences
      • Professor of Molecular and Medical Genetics, School of Medicine
      • Associate Director for Basic Research, Oregon Institute of Occupational Health Sciences
    • Areas of interest

      • Strategies to prevent sunlight-induced skin cancer via the topical introduction of repair enzymes into human cells
      • The mechanisms by which the loss of a DNA repair enzyme can lead to the clinical manifestations of Metabolic Syndrome - a constellation of diseases (obesity, fatty liver disease, insulin resistance and hypertension) that affect >45 million Americans
      • Mutagenic potential of alkyl-substituted and unsubstituted Fapy-dG adducts
      • Molecular mechanisms for the repair and replication of DNA-protein crosslinks
      • Replication bypass of DNAs containing interstrand DNA crosslinks
    • Appointments and titles

      • Assistant Professor of Medicine, School of Medicine
    • Areas of interest

      • Dr. McCarty's research is focused on understanding the interplay between cell biology and fluid mechanics in the cardiovascular system. In particular
      • his research into the balance between hydrodynamic shear forces and chemical adhesive interactions has great relevance to underlying processes of cancer
      • cardiovascular disease
      • and inflammation.
    • Appointments and titles

      • Professor, Oregon Institute of Occupational Health Sciences
      • Associate Professor of Molecular and Medical Genetics, School of Medicine
      • Co-Director, Molecular & Medical Genetics Graduate Program
    • Areas of interest

      • Genome Instability and Cancer
      • DNA Repair
      • Environmental Exposures and Human Disease
      • DNA Damage Response Pathways and Cancer Therapeutics
      • Ultraviolet light-induced carcinogenesis
    • Appointments and titles

      • Assistant Professor of Cell, Developmental and Cancer Biology, School of Medicine
    • Appointments and titles

      • Associate Professor of Chemical Physiology and Biochemistry, School of Medicine
    • Appointments and titles

      • Associate Professor, VGTI-Vaccine and Gene Therapy Institute
    • Appointments and titles

      • Associate Professor of Cell, Developmental and Cancer Biology, School of Medicine
    • Areas of interest

      • zebrafish axonal transport neuron development lateral line sensory systems
    • Appointments and titles

      • Associate Professor of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology, School of Medicine
    • Appointments and titles

      • Assistant Professor of Cell, Developmental and Cancer Biology, School of Medicine
    • Areas of interest

      • Cancer
      • Stem Cell
      • Signaling
      • Tumor Microenvironment
      • Mouse Model of Skin Cancer
    • Appointments and titles

      • Assistant Professor of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery, School of Medicine
      • Assistant Professor of Cell, Developmental and Cancer Biology, School of Medicine
    • Areas of interest

      • Tumor immunology
      • Humoral immunity
      • Lymph node biology
      • Cellular senescence
      • Extracellular vesicle biology
      • Therapeutic cancer vaccines
    • Appointments and titles

      • Associate Professor of Medicine, School of Medicine
    • Appointments and titles

      • Professor of Molecular and Medical Genetics, School of Medicine
      • Co-Director, Brenden-Colson Center for Pancreatic Care, School of Medicine
      • Krista L. Lake Chair in Cancer Research
    • Areas of interest

      • Cancer genetics
      • Proteolysis and cell cycle control
      • Apoptosis
      • Mouse models of cancer
      • Genomics
      • Signal transduction
    • Appointments and titles

      • Assistant Professor of Cell, Developmental and Cancer Biology, School of Medicine
      • Co-leader, Cancer Biology Program, OHSU Knight Cancer Institute, School of Medicine
    • Areas of interest

      • pancreatic cancer, tumor microenvironment, cancer metabolism, epigenetics
    • Appointments and titles

      • Professor of Chemical Physiology and Biochemistry, School of Medicine
    • Areas of interest

      • chromosome dynamics
    • Appointments and titles

      • Professor, Oregon Institute of Occupational Health Sciences
      • Professor of Molecular and Medical Genetics, School of Medicine
    • Areas of interest

      • Biological effects of ionizing radiation
      • Space radiation
      • Mutagenesis
      • Environmental epigenetics
      • Circadian rhythm epigenetics
    • Appointments and titles

      • Assistant Professor of Cell, Developmental and Cancer Biology, School of Medicine
      • Assistant Professor of Radiation Medicine, School of Medicine
    • Appointments and titles

      • Associate Professor of Cell, Developmental and Cancer Biology, School of Medicine
      • Co-leader, Cancer Biology Program, OHSU Knight Cancer Institute, School of Medicine
    • Appointments and titles

      • Professor, VGTI-Vaccine and Gene Therapy Institute
    • Areas of interest

      • HIV pathogenesis and vaccine development