Basic Science

Genomic and Epigenetic Instability

Genomic and Epigenetic Instability

A major hallmark of cancer development, drug resistance and recurrent disease is the presence of genomic and epigenetic instability. Emphasis is on cancer defects in DNA repair, replication; centrosomes, heterochromatin and chromatin modifications.

Tumor Microenvironment

Basic mechanisms of interactions between tumor and host system including stromal cells, extracellular matrix (ECM) and extracellular molecules. Emphasis is on evaluation of the tumor as an organ-like structure with complex, dynamic cross-talk. Studies of tumor-stroma interactions including cell-cell interaction, tumor induced alterations of ECM and organ specific metastasis.

Cancer Prevention and Control

Cancer Prevention and Control

Nutrition, dietary and chemopreventive factors and their use in intervention for cancer risk, and inhibition of cancer progression. Emphasis is on basic mechanistic studies, preclinical and clinical (phase-I and phase-II) studies as well as discovery, evaluation, and validation of dietary factors.

Developmental Therapeutics and Clinical Trials

Developmental Therapeutics and Clinical Trials

Faculty study the experimental therapy of neoplastic diseases in in vitro systems and in vivo model systems, including some early-stage, pilot clinical trials. The major emphasis is on the rational development of novel therapeutic strategies that have a significant potential for early translation to the clinic.

Early Cancer Detection and Imaging

Early Cancer Detection and Imaging

The application and validation of in vivo imaging of cancer in humans and animals, including early phase clinical studies of medical imaging systems, molecular probes and contrast agents, software, molecular imaging techniques, and related technologies. The underlying technologies are refined and optimized during testing in response to research questions or clinical needs.

Tumor Viruses and Immunology

Tumor Viruses and Immunology

Faculty study fundamental aspects of non-HIV and non-bacteriophage viral genetics, infection and replication; cellular and host responses to viral infections and mechanisms of cancer pathogenesis in humans and viral immunity.

Tumor Progression and Metastasis

Tumor Progression and Metastasis

The basic mechanisms of cancer progression, metastasis, invasion/migration and angiogenesis. Special emphasis is placed on hypoxia, adhesion, and growth. Studies focusing on integrins, cytoskeleton, proteases, extracellular matrix remodeling, suppressors/inhibitors of metastasis and angiogenesis, and animal models of metastasis are used with links to more translational studies using human cells.

Genetic Risk Factors

Genetic Risk Factors

The discovery, application and interpretation of genetic and genomic variation in human cancer development and progression.

Cancer Pain

Cancer Pain

The molecular biology, anatomy, physiology, and psychophysics of pain, analgesia and somatosensory systems in animals and humans. The emphasis is on approaches to understanding normal sensory function and sensory pathology due to cancer or cancer therapeutics.

Cancer Biomarkers

Cancer Biomarkers

Discovery, development, and validation of diagnostic biomarkers for early detection of cancers. Includes the discovery, development and small-scale validation of prognostic markers of cancer progression, recurrence, and response of therapy.