Cancer Biology and Molecular Genetics
Cancer Biology and Molecular Genetics investigators study the molecular, genetic and epidemiological basis of cancer and tumor formation. Novel mouse models using transgene and gene knock-out technologies are used to study the role of oncogenes and growth suppressor genes in a variety of cancers. Investigators also use cellular models based on cultured human and murine cells to study cellular transformation, disruption of cell differentiation and alterations in senescence. A wide range of state-of-the-art molecular biology and recombinant viral tools are used to modify gene/protein function in these systems to gain insight into the pathways and proteins responsible for transformation with special focus on tumor suppressor genes and oncogenes.
Scientists in this program elucidate molecular and biochemical processes regulating normal cell cycle progression and checkpoint control, chromatin remodeling, transcription, ubiquitin signaling, protein phosphorylation and signal transduction. They also study how these events impinge on normal cell proliferation, senescence, differentiation and apoptosis.
Cancer Genetics and Epigenetics
Cancer Genetics and Epigenetics investigators specialize in basic and translational research related to the genetic and epigenetics basis of human disease, including genetics and epigenetics of cancer and other diseases, developmental genetics and epigenetics, epigenomics and genomics in normal, aging and cancer cells, environmental effects on gene expression and translational studies in cancer including pre-clinical and clinical research in epigenetic therapy.
Researchers utilize genomic mapping techniques, massive parallel DNA sequencing, RNA sequencing, as well as a wide range of state-of-the-art genomic, epigenomic and bioinformatics techniques. Cloning by somatic cell nuclear transfer is employed to study gene regulation during normal development. State-of-the-art molecular techniques together with RNA interference technology are also employed to manipulate gene function during development.
A major goal of the Experimental Therapeutics Program is to develop targeted therapies for cancer and other debilitating diseases and to study the mechanism of action of these therapeutic agents. A major focus is on drug discovery and medicinal chemistry. This program collaborates with clinical oncologists to conduct clinical trials of novel therapeutic agents developed as part of this program.