Cancer Biology Faculty


Jerry Shay, Ph.D., Program Chair
Shay/Wright Lab
Research Interests: Molecular mechanisms of human cellular aging and immortalization; the role of telomeres and telomerase in cancer


John M. Abrams, Ph.D., Professor
Abrams Lab
Research Interests: Molecular genetics of cell death in cancer


James Amatruda, M.D., Ph.D., Associate Professor
Amatruda Lab
Research Interests: Defining novel cancer genes and understanding the developmental biology of tumors using the zebrafish system


David Boothman, Ph.D., Professor
Boothman Lab
Research Interests: Low dose radiation and cancer


Rolf A. Brekken, Ph.D., Professor
Brekken Lab
Research Interests: Tumor-host interactions in pancreatic cancer


James Brugarolas, M.D., Ph.D., Associate Professor
Brugarolas Lab
Research Interests: Molecular mechanisms of cell growth and proliferation control


Richard Bruick, Ph.D., Professor
Bruick Lab
Research Interests: Regulation of the mammalian hypoxic response pathway in cancer


Sandeep Burma, Ph.D., Associate Professor
Burma Lab
Research Interests: DNA double-strand break sensing, signaling, and repair: from mechanistic understanding to glioblastoma therapy


Diego Castrillon, M.D., Ph.D., Associate Professor
Castrillon Lab
Research Interests: PI3K/PTEN/AKT/FoxO pathways in cancer biology


Benjamin Chen, Ph.D., Associate Professor
Chen Lab
Research Interests: Radiation Biology; DNA damage response in somatic stem cells to tissue homeostasis and cancer initiation


Cheng-Ming Chiang, Ph.D., Professor
Chiang Lab
Research Interests: Oncogenes and tumor suppressor function, transcription mechanisms and epigenetic control of gene programming, BRD4 in gene regulation and cancer therapy, human papillomavirus-associated cancers, post-translational modification of protein function and diversity, DNA damage response and repair pathways, molecular virology


Melanie H. Cobb, Ph.D., Professor
Cobb Lab
Research Interests: Function and regulation of protein kinases in signal transduction pathways in breast cancer


Ian Corbin, Ph.D., Assistant Professor
Research Interests: Utilizing molecular imaging and nanomedicine techniques to better characterize, detect, and treat hepatocellular carcinoma


David R. Corey, Ph.D., Professor
Corey Lab
Research Interests: Cancer therapeutics: Engineering proteins and nucleic acids for novel function


Gaudenz Danuser, Ph.D., Professor
Danuser Lab
Research Interests: Regulation of cell morphogenesis during metastasis; roles of mechanics in cell survival and drug resistance


Jef De Brabander, Ph.D., Professor
De Brabander Lab
Research Interests: Synthesis of natural products and other molecular architectures and interrogation of their mode-of-action, using molecular pharmacology and biochemistry for the development of novel cancer therapeutics


Ralph DeBerardinis, M.D., Ph.D., Associate Professor
DeBerardinis Lab
Research Interests: Metabolic pathways that support tumor cell growth and exploiting tumor metabolism to improve imaging and therapy in cancer


Beatriz Fontoura, Ph.D., Professor
Fontoura Lab
Research Interests: Nuclear transport pathways as regulators of cell cycle, cancer, and antiviral response


Rene Galindo, M.D., Ph.D., Associate Professor
Galindo Lab
Research Interests: Molecular mechanisms of pediatric sarcoma tumorigenesis and developmental skeletal muscle patterning


Jinming Gao, Ph.D., Professor
Gao Lab
Research Interests: Nanoparticles for cancer therapeutic drug delivery


Amyn Habib, M.D., Associate Professor
Habib Lab
Research Interests: Interactions between inflammatory and oncogenic signaling pathways with a focus on glioblastoma (GBM) as our cancer model

Robert Hammer, Ph.D.

Robert E. Hammer, Ph.D., Professor
Research Interests: Transforming growth factor beta signaling


Jer-Tsong (J.T.) Hsieh, Ph.D., Professor
Research Interests: Human cancer gene therapy; signaling defects in urogenital cancers


Lily Huang, Ph.D., Associate Professor
Huang Lab
Research Interests: Cytokine receptor; signal transduction; hematopoiesis; structure-function analysis of protein; cancer


Jenna Jewell, Ph.D., Assistant Professor
Jewell Lab
Research Interests: Cancer Biology, CRISPR Genome Editing, Mechanistic Target of Rapamycin (mTOR), Nutrient Sensing, Signal Transduction


Jin Jiang, Ph.D., Professor
Jiang Lab
Research Interests: Signal-transduction pathways in development and human disease; genetic control of organ growth and patterning; tumor suppressor genes


James Kim, M.D., Ph.D., Assistant Professor
Kim Lab
Research Interests: Cancer biology, lung cancer, developmental pathways, hedgehog signaling pathway, Wnt signaling pathway, tumor-stromal interactions, tumor microenvironment


Ralf Kittler, Ph.D., Assistant Professor
Kittler Lab
Research Interests: Functions of cancer-relevant transcription factors and to translate this knowledge into new approaches for the detection and treatment of cancer


Beth Levine, M.D., Professor
Levine Lab
Research Interests: Role of autophagy in tumor suppression


Lawrence Lum, Ph.D., Associate Professor
Lum Lab
Research Interests: How information from multiple signaling molecules, including Hh and Wg, integrates in development and cancer


Weibo Luo, Ph.D., Assistant Professor
Luo Lab
Research Interests: The role of hypoxia inducible factors in tumor growth and metastasis

Srinivas Malladi, Ph.D.

Srinivas Malladi, Ph.D., Assistant Professor
Malladi Lab
Research Interests: Cancer metastasis; Metastatic stem cells; Tumor Biology and Microenvironment


Ram Mani, Ph.D., Assistant Professor
Mani Lab
Research Interests: Epigenetic mechanisms underlying cancer progression; ETS gene fusions in prostate cancer; Genomic rearrangements in cancer; Transcriptional regulation in prostate cancer


Elisabeth Martinez, Ph.D., Assistant Professor
Martinez Lab
Research Interests: Discovery and characterization of novel chemical epigenetic modulators of gene expression with specific anti-cancer activity


Ralph Mason, Ph.D., Professor
Mason Lab
Research Interests: Animal imaging in cancer


Joshua Mendell, M.D., Ph.D., Professor
Mendell Lab
Research Interests: Regulation and function of microRNAs and other noncoding RNAs in normal physiology and cancer


John Minna, M.D., Professor
Minna Lab
Research Interests: Molecular pathogenesis of human cancer; signal transduction in human tumors; cancer stem cells; targeted cancer therapy


Sean Morrison, Ph.D., Professor
Morrison Lab
Research Interests: Normal and cancerous stem cells


Saikat Mukhopadhyay, M.D., Ph.D., Assistant Professor
Mukhopadhyay Lab
Research Interests: Role of primary cilia in normal development and cancer, functional proteomics in ciliary diseases, ciliary signaling pathways

Jerry Niederkorn, Ph.D.

Jerry Y. Niederkorn, Ph.D., Professor
Niederkorn Lab
Research Interests: Immune surveillance of intraocular tumors; immune modulation of cancer metastases


Kathryn A. O'Donnell, Ph.D., Assistant Professor
O'Donnell Lab
Research Interests: Identification and characterization of cancer-associated genes using transposon-mediated mutagenesis

Ganesh Raj, Ph.D.

Ganesh Raj, M.D., Ph.D., Professor
Raj Lab
Research Interests: Hormone Dependent Malignancies (prostate and breast); Steroid receptor crosstalk; Therapeutic drug development; Ex vivo model development


Theodora Ross, M.D., Ph.D., Professor
Ross Lab
Research Interests: The Ross Laboratory investigates how dysfunctional endocytosis, tyrosine kinase oncogenes, and the BRCA1/2 tumor suppressor genes lead to transformation of normal cells into cancer cells


Michael Roth, Ph.D., Professor
Roth Lab
Research Interests: High throughput screening for novel cancer therapeutics; recognition and sorting of cell-surface glycoproteins


Pier Paolo Scaglioni, M.D., Associate Professor
Scaglioni Lab
Research Interests: Characterization of the function of the PML tumor suppressor; mechanisms of K-RAS induced Tumorigenesis; role of oncogene induced replicative senescence in tumor suppression; mouse models of lung cancer


Joachim Seemann, Ph.D., Associate Professor
Seemann Lab
Research Interests: To understand the mechanisms that regulate the mitotic division of the Golgi in mammalian cells as it relates to cancer


Daniel Siegwart, Ph.D., Assistant Professor
Siegwart Lab
Research Interests: Polymer and materials chemistry, drug and gene delivery, RNAi, biomedical imaging, detection and treatment of cancer


Stephen Skapek, M.D., Professor
Skapek Lab
Research Interests: Tumor suppressor gene function; Angiogenesis; Skeletal muscle differentiation; Oncogene-induced senescence


Maralice Conacci-Sorrell, Ph.D., Assistant Professor
Sorrell Lab
Research Interests: Cell migration, survival, stress responses, cancer


Michael Story, Ph.D., Professor
Story Lab
Research Interests: Radiation biology/oncology; cancer genomics; intrinsic radiosensitivity


Yihong Wan, Ph.D., Associate Professor
Wan Lab
Research Interests: Regulation of the initiation, progression, and bone metastasis of breast cancer by the microenvironment


Richard Wang, M.D., Ph.D., Assistant Professor
Wang Lab
Research Interests: Regulation of glucose uptake; autophagy and skin cancer


Zhigao Wang, Ph.D., Assistant Professor
Research Interests: Molecular mechanisms of necrotic cell death; development of chemical inhibitors and activators of necrotic cell death


Kenneth Westover, M.D., Ph.D., Assistant Professor
Westover Lab
Research Interests: The Westover Lab works at the intersections of biochemistry, structural biology, chemical biology, and chemistry as part of a collaborative team to understand and manipulate the molecular basis of cancer


Michael White, Ph.D., Professor
White Lab
Research Interests: Molecular mechanisms for control of cell growth and differentiation


Angelique Whitehurst, Ph.D., Assistant Professor
Whitehurst Lab
Research Interests: The role of ectopically activated gametogenic programs in supporting tumor cell proliferation and survival


Thomas Wilkie, Ph.D., Associate Professor
Wilkie Lab
Research Interests: G-protein signaling during mouse development, energy homeostasis, and feeding behavior


Woodring E. Wright, M.D., Ph.D., Professor
Shay/Wright Lab
Research Interests: The role of telomeres and telomerase in cellular senescence and cancer


Yang Xie, Ph.D., Associate Professor
Research Interests: Processing and analysis of high throughput data; false discovery rate estimation; integrated analysis methodology; Bayesian analysis methodology; design and analysis of clinical trials


Jian Xu, Ph.D., Assistant Professor
Xu Lab
Research Interests: We are investigating the epigenetic and genetic basis of disease-associated genes and gene networks in blood stem cell development and disorders, focusing on both single gene and genomic levels.


Hasan Zaki, Ph.D., Assistant Professor 
Zaki Lab
Research Interests: How intestinal microbiota and pathogen recognition receptors regulate gastrointestinal cancer


Qing Zhong, M.D., Ph.D., Associate Professor
Zhong Lab
Research Interests: Biochemical mechanisms of mammalian autophagy, apoptosis, and necrosis and their implications in cancer


Hao Zhu, M.D., Assistant Professor
Zhu Lab
Research Interests: Genetic and cellular mechanisms of organ regeneration and dysregulation of these mechanisms in liver cancer


Associate Members

These faculty members do not accept graduate students. They participate in teaching, co-mentoring, exam and dissertation committees, and all other program responsibilities.

Esra Akbay, Ph.D.

Esra Akbay, Ph.D., Assistant Professor
Research Interests: Lung cancer microenvironment, immunotherapy


Asaithamby Aroumougame, Ph.D., Assistant Professor
Research Interests: Cellular and molecular understanding of Werner Syndrome, Fanconi anemia, and space radiation induced carcinogenesis


Robert Bachoo, M.D., Ph.D., Associate Professor
Research Interests: Molecular mechanisms underlying brain tumors




David Chen, Ph.D., Professor
Research Interests: Radiation biology and DNA damage signaling

Yi Liu, Ph.D.

Anthony Davis, Ph.D., Assistant Professor
Research Interests: Cellular response to DNA double strand breaks, the role of aberrant DNA repair and signaling in cancer etiology, basic radiation biology, and intrinsic and tumor/cancer radioresponses


Gray Pearson, Ph.D., Assistant Professor
Research Interests: The molecular regulation of breast cancer progression using in vitro and in vivo models