The overall goals of the Molecular Oncology & Biomarkers program are to understand
the fundamental cellular and molecular processes that contribute to cancer development
Normal cells have intricate molecular mechanisms that control essential phenotypes
such as differentiation, cell division and movement. The molecular pathways that control
these phenotypes are disrupted in cancer cells as a result of the expression of oncogenes
and loss of regulatory tumor suppressor genes. These events, which are often highly
specific to individual types of cancer, disrupt specific molecular pathways that result
in uncontrolled cell growth and loss of normal responses to extracellular signaling
cues that result in tumor development and progression.
The research interests of the program can be divided into three broad themes:
- Cancer Genetics
- Chaperone Biology
Collectively these themes address important topics of tumor cell and molecular biology
- The genetic basis of cancer development and progression through the roles of specific
genes and pathways
- The genetic basis of metastasis underlying the roles of metastasis suppressor genes,
metastasis promoting genes, and microRNAs involved in metastasis
- The role of transcription factors in promoting cancer progression
- Cancer genomics in primary human tumors and mouse models of cancer using gene expression
and Next Gen sequencing;
- Application of bioinformatics tools to study complex data sets;
- The role of oncogenes and glycoconjugates in cancer cell progression;
- Genome-wide analysis of epigenetic changes in cancer development as a tool to identify
biomarkers for prediction of progression and prognosis;
- Analysis of heat shock chaperones and other stress proteins in cancer development
and as targets for cancer therapies;
- The role of obesity and metabolic changes in the development of cancer.
Cancer Research News
“Getting to meet incredible physicians and scientists and learn about the fabulous science that takes place here has been the best part of my job so far,” Kaur said of her new position as associate director of basic science at the Georgia Cancer Center.
“Cells are very complicated systems that we are still working to understand, so we had to find a way to simplify it," said Abdul N. Malmi-Kakkada, PhD.
Dr. Justin Xavier Moore has been recognized with an American Association for Cancer Research Minorities in Cancer Research award.
"Colon cancer is largely preventable if patients undergo screening tests, like a surveillance colonoscopy starting at 45 years or earlier depending on family history."