Cancer Biology Track

PLEASE NOTE: THE IBS Program is no longer accepting students. Students interested in the IBS program should apply through the new Graduate Program in Interdisciplinary Biomedical Sciences. The Clinical and Translational Sciences track listed below has not changed.   These pages were left for those students who were accepted into the IBS program before Fall 2016.


Track Leader-Larry Suva, Ph.D.

Gunnar Boysen, Ph.D. (Environmental and Occupational Health) Web profile
I am interested in understanding the interplay between chemical exposure and nutritional or lifestyle habits,  such as diet selection and physical activity. To achieve this we utilize DNA and protein adducts to  study carcinogen metabolism, how it is modified by nutritional components and the underlying mechanisms regulating corresponding enzyme activities. In addition studies investigate exposures related changes in common metabolic pathways, using targeted and un-targeted mass spectrometry based metabolomic approaches.

Martin Cannon, Ph.D. (Microbiology and Immunology) Web profile
Dendritic cell immunotherapy of cancer

Timothy Chambers, Ph.D. (Biochemistry and Molecular Biology) Web profile
Cancer chemotherapy, apoptosis, cell signaling, cell cycle regulation

Mari Davidson, Ph.D. (Biochemistry and Molecular Biology) Web profile

Alan Diekman, Ph.D. (Biochemistry and Molecular Biology) Web profile

Robert Eoff, Ph.D. (Biochemistry and Molecular Biology) Web profile
Research in the Eoff laboratory is focused on understanding how structure informs the function of proteins and enzymes that are involved in genomic maintenance, a key barrier to tumorigenesis. We are specifically interested in specialized DNA replication events that facilitate the bypass and tolerance of DNA damage. In addition to biochemical and biophysical analyses, we are actively studying how mis-regulation of these processes contributes to tumor development and resistance to genotoxic therapies.

Joshua Epstein, D.Sc. (Internal Medicine/Myeloma Institute for Research and Therapy) Web profile

Aime Franco, Ph.D. (Physiology and Biophysics) Web profile
In the Franco laboratory we are investigating the role of oncogenes, hormones and microbes in the development of cancer.

Dana Gaddy, Ph.D. (Physiology and Biophysics) Web profile
Our laboratory focuses on the endocrine, cellular and molecular mechanisms that govern the maintenance of the musculoskeletal system, with particular focus on the normal and pathophysiological changes associated with age, disuse, menopause, and metastatic disease.

Robert J. Griffin, Ph.D. (Radiation Oncology) Web profile
The radiation biology group led by Dr. Griffin investigate molecular and physiological mechanisms of radiation and thermal sensitization of solid tumors; modulation of tumor blood flow, angiogenesis and oxygenation; and oxygen partial pressure as a predictor of cancer treatment outcomes. In addition, research projects are being performed with nanoparticles to target the tumor microenvironment or assist other therapy in achieving tumor destruction. In all aspects of our work, the influence of contact between tumor cells and stromal cells, such as endothelial, smooth muscle or fibroblast cells on cancer biology and treatment response is also being studied to understand the importance of cell-cell crosstalk and mechanisms of bystander cell communication and responses.

Randy Haun, Ph.D. (Pathology)
Our laboratory is interested in 1) identifying proteases that are expressed in pancreatic cancer and understanding the roles they play during tumor invasion and metastasis, 2) characterizing signal transduction pathways that lead to chemoresistance in patients with pancreatic cancer, and 3) characterizing serum biomarkers that may be used for early detection of this devastating disease.

Thomas Kelly, Ph.D. (Pathology)
Proteases and heparanases in cancer metastasis

Angus MacNicol, Ph.D. (Neurobiology and Developmental Sciences)
Cell cycle control, gene expression, early vertebrate development, signal transduction

Grover Paul Miller, Ph.D. (Biochemistry and Molecular Biology) Web profile
The focus of my research is to understand the mechanism underlying the paradoxical ability of cytochrome P450s to suppress and promote carcinogenesis through the metabolism of xenobiotic molecules, e.g. drugs, environmental contaminants, and food additives.

Roy Morello, Ph.D. (Physiology and Biophysics and Genetics) Web profile
In my laboratory we study the function of novel genes, in particular those involved in bone formation, development, homeostasis and disease. We utilize the power of mouse gene targeting and conditional gene-inactivation techniques to generate ubiquitous or tissue-specific mutations in the mouse. With the use of cell biology, biochemistry, cell microscopy and genetic approaches we characterize the phenotype of these mice to understand the underlying gene function. The objective is to learn from the animal model and make correlations with relevant aspects of human disease and hence gain mechanistic insights of biological function.

Anna Radominska-Pandya, Ph.D. (Biochemistry and Molecular Biology)Web profile
Structure-function relationship studies of human UDP-glucuronosyltransferases (UGTs); Transcriptional regulation of UGTs via environmental pollutants; Role of UGTs in breast cancer and in cancer prevention; and Detoxification of drugs and endogenous compounds

Robert J.S. Reis, D. Phil. (Geriatrics) Web profile 
Genetics of longevity; role of homologous recombination in oncogenesis and cancer progression.

Frank A. Simmen, Ph.D. (Physiology and Biophysics) Web profile
My laboratory works on colon oncogenesis in rat and mouse and in vitro models (funded by the NCI/NIH). We are examining how the hormonal milieu (insulin, insulin-like growth factors, and thyroid hormones) and dietary factors (such as those present in soy protein isolates) cumulatively affect colon tumor-initiating cell characteristics in vivo and in vitro. Our long-term goals are to develop new strategies for dietary prevention of colo-rectal cancers. We are also interested in developing new opportunities for augmenting colon tumor cell killing by chemotherapeutics via use of dietary phytochemicals that target the tumor-initiating cells and/or relevant endocrine pathways. Lastly, we are searching for insulin-regulated miRNAs that regulate lipogenic pathways in colon cancer and intestinal cells.

Jerry Ware, Ph.D. (Physiology and Biophysics) Web profile
Our laboratory has a long-standing interest in the role of circulating platelets in disease processes. Recent studies have found a platelet adhesion receptor that is critical for normal blood coagulation also supports metastasis of tumor cells. Mouse models deficient in this platelet receptor have yielded results confirming the relevance of platelets in tumor metastasis. Ongoing studies will further define the molecular mechanism supporting these processes and may identify new therapeutic strategies for preventing the spread of malignant disease.

Shmuel Yaccoby, Ph.D. (Internal Medicine, Physiology and Biophysics) Web profile
Multiple myeloma is a plasma cell malignancy characterized by accumulation of malignant myeloma plasma cells in the bone marrow and induction of severe osteolytic bone disease. Our laboratory focuses on various cellular and molecular aspects in multiple myeloma pathogenesis including the role of bone marrow microenvironment in the progression of the disease and identification and development of novel targeted therapies.