The research of the Cell, Molecular and Cancer Biology Program faculty include molecular and cellular biology, genetics, epigenetics, and cancer biology. Investigators range from those who study the basic processes of how cells divide to those who are actively involved in clinical trials for new cancer chemotherapeutics. With a shared interested in understanding the relationship between structure and function in health and human disease, these faculty provide research opportunities for postdoctoral fellows and graduate, medical and undergraduate students.
Focused Research Groups
The Basic Mechanisms of Disease research group studies genetic and epigenetic abnormalities, which underlie many human diseases, including inherited disorders and cancer. Other diseases result from infectious agents. Understanding the biochemical, genetic, molecular and epigenetic origins of disease offers the opportunity for treatment of such diseases. Faculty in this group study the origin, etiology, progression and treatment of diseases of multiple organs.
The Cancer Cell Biology research group studies the mechanisms underlying the development of tumors, providing significant new insight to the identification and treatment of a variety of cancers. Scientists in this group range from those who study the basic processes of how cells divide to those who are actively involved in clinical trials for new cancer chemotherapeutics. This group has expertise in cancer epigenetics, cancer genomics, cancer metastasis, cancer stem cells and therapeutic development.
Many key developmental events are regulated by intercellular signaling molecules, often in the form of secreted proteins acting through cell surface receptors. Defective cell signaling is a major cause of many human cancers where overactive or unregulated signals lead to excessive cell proliferation and inappropriate cell survival. The Cell Signaling and Development research group focuses on understanding mechanisms of cell-cell signaling and development in organisms ranging from plants through invertebrates to mammals.
The regulated expression of genes is critical for normal cellular homeostasis. Defects in this process are associated with uncontrolled proliferation commonly associate with tumorigenesis. Research faculty in the Epigenetics, Genomics and Chromatin research group share an interest in the mechanisms governing genome organization, regulated gene expression, chromatin structure, and the fidelity of chromosome distribution during mitosis and meiosis.