Molecular Oncology Department

Where You Are:
The Molecular Oncology Department faculty members share common interests in understanding signal transduction pathways from the cell surface to the nucleus. They also aim to clarify the mechanisms by which a number of nuclear proteins control different cellular regulatory processes, such as gene expression and DNA replication. The members focus their research in understanding the basic biology of signal transduction and gene regulation and also in identifying and evaluating potential new drugs that target these pathways.

Examples of ongoing work include:
  • explaining mechanisms by which growth factor signals regulate the assembly and function of pre-DNA replication complexes
  • understanding the regulation of the p53 tumor suppressor and identifying novel therapeutic strategies targeting the p53 pathway
  • studying the mechanisms of Akt and Aurora-A kinases in human carcinogenesis
  • studying how transcription factor E2F influences cell cycle and proliferation;
  • proteomic detection of candidate biomarkers
  • understanding the mechanisms regulating the proliferation and survival of normal and tumor cells
  • identifying oncogenes in acute myeloid leukemia
  • understanding how histone deacetylase enzymes regulate gene expression
  • understanding the interaction between Gab1 and SHP2 in the activation of the ERK MAP kinase pathway
  • understanding the role of epigenetic modifications in human cancer
  • targeting survival pathways mediated by interactions between mesenchymal stroma cells and hematopoietic tumors
  • understanding the molecular mechanisms of melanoma metastasis and developing personalized therapies for melanoma
  • examining the prognostic and diagnostic value of the expression of TGFβ pathway molecules in human cancer
  • explaining the molecular mechanisms underlying the regulation of centrosome duplication by oncogenic and tumor suppressing proteins

Molecular Oncology Department Members

Department Chair:
Jin Q. Cheng, MD, PhD (interim)

Mark Alexandrow, PhD
Jiandong Chen, PhD
Jin Q. Cheng, MD, PhD
W. Douglas Cress, PhD
Jia Fang, PhD

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