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.
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

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.
Assistant Professor
Research Interests: Molecular mechanisms underlying brain tumors

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

Rolf A. Brekken, Ph.D.
Associate 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.
Associate Professoer
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
Castrillion 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

Melanie H. Cobb, Ph.D.
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.
Corey Lab
Research Interests: Cancer therapeutics: Engineering proteins and nucleic acids for novel function

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

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

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

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

Robert Gerard, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Gerard Lab
Research Interests: Targeting of recombinant adenovirus vectors to tumors

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

Jer-Tsong (J.T.) Hsieh, Ph.D.
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

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

Qiu-Xing Jiang, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Jiang Lab
Research Interests: Structure and function of large membrane assemblies, including ion channels and transporters using electron cryo-microscopy and crystallographic analysis to generate 3D structures and perform functional studies in in vitro or in vivo systems

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

Erik Knudsen, Ph.D.
Research Interests: Tumor suppressor pathways in breast cancer etiology, disease progression, and therapeutic response

Beth Levine, M.D.
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

Ram Mani, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
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.
Mason Lab
Research Interests: Animal imaging in cancer

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

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

Sean Morrison, Ph.D.
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 Y. Niederkorn, Ph.D.
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

Luis F. Parada, Ph.D.
Parada Lab
Research Interests: Mechanisms of neural development; trk receptors and neurotrophins; mouse models of neurological tumors

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

Ryan Potts, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Potts Lab
Research Interests: Role of ubiquitin ligases in tumor initiation and progression, vesicular trafficking, and genome stability.

Theodora Ross, M.D., Ph.D.
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.
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
Research Interests: Polymer and materials chemistry, drug and gene delivery, RNAi, biomedical imaging, detection and treatment of cancer

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

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

Yihong Wan, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Wan Lab
Research Interests: Regulation of the initiation, progression, and bone metastasis of breast cancer by the micro-environment

Richard Wang, M.D., Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
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.
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

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

Yang Xie, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Research Interests: Bioinformatics; Integrative Analysis; Predictive Models; Biomarkers in Cancer

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.