The Shay/Wright blended labs are interested in the relationships between aging and cancer and have focused on the role of the telomeres and telomerase in these processes. A major contribution has been the "bench to bedside" development of telomerase inhibitors that are now in advanced cancer clinical trials. We are currently testing a novel telomerase dependent telomere uncapping small molecule (Cancer Discovery, 2015), identifying methods to alter TERT (telomerase) splicing in cancer cells (Nature Communications, 2014; Cell Reports, 2013; Trends Genetics, 2014), and investigating human diseases of telomere dysfunction (called telomeropathies) which are an emerging genetic spectrum disorder (J. Cell Biol, 2014, Nucleic Acids Res, 2007, PNAS, 2007). In addition, we are moving a novel targeted therapeutic approach for colon cancer into the clinic and are involved in human cell and tissue engineering projects.