Faculty in CDB working in this area are studying fundamental mechanisms underlying a variety of stages of malignant disease progression, including but not limited to how tumor suppressors function (e.g.p53, the most frequently mutated gene in all human cancers), cancer cell metabolic reprogramming, interactions between tumors cells and numerous stromal cells within the tumor microenvironment, interplay between cancer genomes and cancer epigenomes, cancer stem cells, and drug discovery to identify novel therapeutics targeting altered pathways in tumor cells that are distinct from normal tissues. A large number of cancers are studied, including pancreatic cancer, renal cancer, sarcomas, colorectal cancer, and hematological malignancies. Of course, all basic principles of cell biology and developmental biology are relevant to cancer, as they are frequently co-opted during cancer initiation, progression, and metastasis.

  • Shelley Berger: p53, cancer epigenetics, epigenetic influences on why certain cancer patients respond to treatments like immunotherapy and others don’t.
  • Nancy Speck: Cancer stem cells, leukemia
  • Celeste Simon: tumor microenvironment, responses to hypoxic stress, cancer cell metabolism, inflammatory cell effects on colorectal cancer and pancreatic cancer.
  • Ken Zaret: pancreatic cancer, cancer epigenetics, identification of novel biomarkers to facilitate early cancer detection.