Cancer Biology Faculty

Program Chair

Rolf Brekken, Ph.D.
Rolf Brekken, Ph.D.

Professor

Research Interests: Tumor-host interactions in pancreatic cancer, tumor microenvironment, epithelial plasticity, immune therapy, angiogenesis, metastasis, ECM signaling, matricellular proteins

Faculty

John Abrams, Ph.D.

Professor

Research Interests: Molecular genetics of cell death; genomic “dark matter”; p53 tumor suppressor function; 3D genome organization

John Abrams, Ph.D.
Michalis Agathokleous, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Research Interests: Hematopoietic stem cell and leukemia metabolism; metabolites and the stem cell genome

Michalis Agathokleous, Ph.D.
Todd Aguilera, M.D., Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Research Interests: Tumor microenvironment, immunotherapy, radiotherapy, tumor immunology

Todd Aguilera, M.D., Ph.D.
Esra Akbay, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Research Interests: Lung cancer microenvironment, immunotherapy

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Prasanna G. Alluri, M.D., Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Research Interests: Translational, breast cancer research, bedside to bench approaches, mechanisms of treatment resistance, translational genomics

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Asaithamby Aroumougame, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Research Interests: Immunotherapy and radiotherapy in cancer prevention and treatment; premature aging and carcinogenesis; DNA damage response signaling in heart development

Asaithamby Aroumougame, Ph.D.
Carlos L. Arteaga, M.D.

Professor & Director

Research Interests: Breast cancer; oncogenes; drug resistance; targeted therapies; molecules of interest: ERα, ERBB2 (HER2), CDK4/6, PI3K, FGFR

Carlos L. Arteaga, M.D.
James Brugarolas, M.D., Ph.D.

Professor

Research Interests: Molecular mechanisms of cell growth proliferation control

James Brugarolas, M.D., Ph.D.
Diego Castrillon, M.D., Ph.D.

Professor

Research Interests: Endometrial cancer, cancer genetics, model systems, polymerase epsilon

Diego Castrillon, M.D., Ph.D.
Isaac Chan, M.D., Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Research Interests: Metastasis, Breast Cancer, Tumor Immunology, Immunotherapy

Isaac Chan, M.D., Ph.D.
Kenneth Chen, M.D.

Assistant Professor

Research Interests: Genetic drivers of childhood cancers, especially Wilms tumor and germ cell tumors, and new strategies for treating them

Kenneth Chen, M.D.
Benjamin Chen, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

Research Interests: DNA double strand break repair, replication stress, oxidative stress, and genomic instability during cancer and aging

Benjamin Chen
Cheng-Ming Chiang, Ph.D.

Professor

Research Interests: Mechanisms of transcriptional regulation and epigenetic control; chromatin remodeling and histone tail modification; sumoylation and ubiquitination; functional interplay between oncoproteins and tumor suppressor proteins; general transcription factors and cofactors

Cheng-Ming Chiang, Ph.D.
Melanie Cobb, Ph.D.

Professor

Research Interests: Protein kinase cascades; MAP kinases; signal-transduction mechanisms

Melanie Cobb
Maralice Conacci-Sorrell, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Research Interests: Cell migration, survival, stress responses, cancer

Maralice Conacci-Sorrell, Ph.D.
Suzanne Conzen, M.D.

Professor

Research Interests: nuclear receptors, hormone driven cancers

Suzanne Conzen, M.D.
Ian Corbin, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

Research Interests: Molecular imaging techniques and nanomedicine-technology development to better understand and characterize liver disease

Ian Corbin, Ph.D.
Lindsay Cowell, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

Research Interests: Somatic diversification of antigen receptor genes; repertoire characteristics as biomarkers of immune status and disease; host-pathogen interactions

Lindsay Cowell, Ph.D.
Gaudenz Danuser, Ph.D.

Professor

Research Interests: Regulation of cell morphogenesis during metastasis; roles of mechanics in cell survival and drug resistance

Gaudenz Danuser, Ph.D.
Anthony Davis, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Research Interests: Uncover mechanisms that modulate the cellular response to DSBs

Anthony Davis, Ph.D.
Ralph DeBerardinis, M.D., Ph.D.

Professor

Research Interests: Regulation of metabolism during cell growth and tumorigenesis; integrating signal transduction with metabolic flux; understanding pediatric metabolic diseases

Ralph DeBerardinis, M.D., Ph.D.
Beatriz Fontoura, Ph.D.

Professor

Research Interests: Role of nuclear transport factors in interphase and mitosis from viral pathogenesis to cell division

Beatriz Fontoura, Ph.D.
Rene L. Galindo, M.D., Ph.D.

Associate Professor

Research Interests: Molecular mechanisms of pediatric sarcoma tumorigenesis and developmental skeletal muscle patterning

Rene Galindo, M.D., Ph.D.
Jinming Gao, Ph.D.

Professor

Research Interests: Activatable optical/MRI imaging probes to study tumor metabolism and theranostic nanomedicine for cancer-targeted drug therapy

Jinming Gao, Ph.D.
Amyn Habib, M.D.

Associate Professor

Research Interests: Interactions between inflammatory and oncogenic signaling pathways with a focus on glioblastoma (GBM) as our cancer model

Amyn Habib, M.D., Ph.D.
Raquibul Hannan, M.D.

Associate Professor

Research Interests: Tumor Immunology, Radiation Immunomodulation, Immunotherapy

Raquibul Hannan, M.D.
Yujin Hoshida, M.D, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

Research Interests: Translational research in liver cancer, prognostic liver signature, hepatocellular carcinoma molecular subtypes, hepatocellular carcinoma chemoprevention discovery

Yujin Hoshida, M.D, Ph.D.
Gerta Hoxhaj, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Research Interests: Cancer metabolism, nutrient signaling, protein kinases

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Lily Huang, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

Research Interests: Cytokine receptor; signal transduction; hematopoiesis; structure-function analysis of protein; cancer

Jun-Shen 'Lily' Huang, Ph.D.
Jenna Jewell, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Research Interests: Cancer biology, CRISPR genome editing, mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR), nutrient sensing, signal transduction

Jenna Jewell, Ph.D.
Jin Jiang, Ph.D.

Professor

Research Interests: Signal-transduction pathways in development and human disease; genetic control of organ growth and patterning; tumor suppressor genes

Jin Jiang, Ph.D.
James Kim, M.D., Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Research Interests: Cancer biology, lung cancer, developmental pathways, hedgehog signaling pathway, Wnt signaling pathway, tumor-stromal interactions, tumor microenvironment

James Kim, M.D., Ph.D.
Daehwan Kim, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Research Interests: DNA, RNA, and bisulfite sequence alignment, graph alignment to population of genomes and genotyping, personalized medicine with a focus on cancer diagnosis

Daehwan Kim, Ph.D.
Ralf Kittler, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

Research Interests: Functions of cancer-relevant transcription factors and to translate this knowledge into new approaches for detection and treatment of cancer

Ralf Kittler, Ph.D.
Lu Q. Le, M.D., Ph.D.

Professor

Research Interests: Tumor cell of origin; roles of tumor microenvironment in cancer development; cellular and molecular mechanisms of neurofibromatosis; stem cell and cancer biology

Lu Le, M.D., Ph.D.
Guo-Min Li, Ph.D.

Professor

Research Interests: DNA mismatch repair

Guo-Min Li, Ph.D.
Matteo Ligorio, M.D., Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Research Interests: Discovering novel (immune) mechanisms that regulate carcinogenesis and tumor progression (e.g., invasion/metastasis, tumor microenvironment, etc.) to answer the most fundamental questions in cancer biology with the final intent of developing novel therapeutic strategies for cancer patients

Matteo Ligorio, M.D., Ph.D.
Weibo Luo, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Research Interests: The role of hypoxia inducible factors in tumor growth and metastasis

Weibo Luo, Ph.D.
Peter Ly, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Research Interests: Mechanisms of genomic instability and chromosomal alterations in cancer

Peter Ly, Ph.D.
Ravikanth Maddipati, M.D.

Assistant Professor

Research Interests: Tumor metastasis, tumor heterogeneity, therapy resistance, circulation tumor cells, and cellular plasticity

Ravikanth Maddipati, M.D.
Srinivas Malladi, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Research Interests: Cancer metastasis; metastatic stem cells; tumor biology and microenvironment

Srinivas Malladi, Ph.D.
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

Ram Mani, Ph.D.
Elisabeth Martinez, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

Research Interests: Discovery and characterization of novel chemical epigenetic modulators of gene expression with specific anti-cancer activity

Elisabeth Martinez, Ph.D.
Ralph P. Mason, Ph.D.

Professor

Research Interests: Tumor pathophysiology and MR assessment of prognostic biomarkers/hypoxia and pH

Ralph Mason, Ph.D.
Samuel McBrayer, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Research Interests: Nitrogen metabolism, crosstalk between the metabolome and epigenome, metabolic mechanisms of tumor initiation, synthetic lethality, glioma biology, CRISPR/Cas9-based mouse models of cancer

Samuel McBrayer, Ph.D.
Joshua Mendell, M.D., Ph.D.

Professor

Research Interests: Regulation and function of mammalian miRNAs and other noncoding RNAs in normal physiology and disease

Joshua Mendell, M.D., Ph.D.
John Minna, M.D.

Professor

Research Interests: Molecular genetics of human cancer; growth factors and signal transduction in human tumors

John Minna, M.D.
Sean Morrison, Ph.D.

Professor

Research Interests: Cancer stem cell biology; melanoma cell proliferation and metastasis; stem cell aging; stem cell self-renewal

Sean Morrison, Ph.D.
Ping Mu, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Research Interests: Molecular mechanism of therapy resistance in prostate cancer, combined therapy development, novel biomarker identification, non-coding RNAs’ function in prostate cancer

Ping Mu, Ph.D.
Saikat Mukhopadhyay, M.D., Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Research Interests: Role of the primary cilia in normal development and cancer; functional proteomics in ciliary diseases; ciliary signaling pathways

Saikat Mukhopadhyay, M.D., Ph.D.
Ayaz Najafov, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Research Interests: Immunogenic Cell Death, Necroptosis Signaling, Anti-tumor Immunity, Immunotherapy

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Kathryn O’Donnell, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

Research Interests: Mechanisms of tumorigenesis; Regulation and function of cell surface receptors in lung cancer pathogenesis

Kathryn O'Donnell, Ph.D.
Ganesh Raj, M.D., Ph.D.

Professor

Research Interests: Hormone dependent malignancies (prostate and breast); steroid receptor crosstalk; therapeutic drug development; ex vivo model development

Ganesh Raj, M.D., Ph.D.
Satwick Rajaram, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Research Interests: Spatial organization of tumors by combining machine identified phenotypes and existing pathology scoring within the framework established by cancer biology

Satwick Rajaram, Ph.D.
Sangeetha Reddy, M.D.

Assistant Professor

Research Interests: Breast cancer, Immunotherapy, Innate Immunity, Translational Immuno-oncology

Sangeetha Reddy, M.D.
Joachim Seemann, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

Research Interests: Biogenesis of the Golgi apparatus

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Jerry Shay, Ph.D.

Professor

Research Interests: Cancer stem cells, cell biology of the cancer genome, mechanisms of cellular immortalization, mouse models of radiation-induced cancer, role of telomeres and telomerase in cancer and aging

Daniel Siegwart, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

Research Interests: Polymer and materials chemistry, drug and gene delivery, RNAi, biomedical imaging, detection and treatment of cancer

Daniel Siegwart, Ph.D.
Stephen Skapek, M.D.

Professor

Research Interests: Tumor suppressor gene function; angiogenesis; skeletal muscle differentiation; oncogene-induced senescence

Stephen Skapek, M.D.
Michael Story, Ph.D.

Professor

Research Interests: Radiation biology/oncology, cancer genomics, intrinsic radiosensitivity

Michael Story, Ph.D.
Douglas Strand, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Research Interests: Benign and malignant urologic diseases, computational and translational biology, cellular anatomy, single cell technology

Douglas Strand, Ph.D.
Yihong Wan, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

Research Interests: Regulation of the initiation, progression and bone metastasis of breast cancer by the micro-environment, transcriptional regulation of development, metabolism and cancer by nuclear receptors using the skeleton and the mammary gland as model systems

Yihong Wan, Ph.D.
Richard Wang, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

Research Interests: Natural product synthesis, synthetic methodology development, small molecule library synthesis and chemical biology

Richard Wang, Ph.D.
Angelique Whitehurst, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

Research Interests: The role of ectopically activated gametogenic programs in supporting tumor cell proliferation and survival

Angelique Whitehurst, Ph.D.
Tom Wilkie, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

Research Interests: G-protein signaling during mouse development, energy homeostasis, and feeding behavior

Tom Wilkie, Ph.D.
Yang Xie, Ph.D.

Professor

Research Interests: Statistical analysis and rational design of cellular systems; evolutionary design of the bacterial flagellum

Yang Xie, Ph.D.
Jian Xu, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Research Interests: 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

Jian Xu, Ph.D.
Hasan Zaki, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Research Interests: NOD-like receptors; innate immune signaling pathways; host-pathogen interaction; intestinal inflammation and cancer

Hasan Zaki, Ph.D.
Qing Zhang, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

Research Interests: Regulation and function of oxygen sensing pathway in diseases including cancer; post-translational modifications of proteins; tumor suppressor signaling and synthetic lethality

Qing Zhang, Ph.D.
Zhenyu Zhong, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Research Interests: Inflammation, innate immunity, mitochondrial signaling pathways and tumor immunology

Zhenyu Zhong, Ph.D.
Hao Zhu, M.D.

Associate Professor

Research Interests: Genetic and cellular mechanisms of organ regeneration and dysregulation of these mechanisms in liver cancer

Hao Zhu, M.D.

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.

Robert Bachoo, M.D., Ph.D.

Associate Professor

Research Interests: Molecular mechanisms underlying brain tumors

Robert Bachoo, M.D., Ph.D.
Cristel Camacho, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Research Interests: Cancer, Genomics, Non-coding Genome, PARPs, DNA Damage Signaling

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Benjamin Drapkin, M.D., Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Research Interests: Small cell lung cancer, acquired resistance to therapy, intratumoral and intertumoral heterogeneity, tumor lineage plasticity and transdifferentiation, cell cycle control and the RB tumor suppressor

Benjamin
Robert E. Hammer, Ph.D.

Professor

Research Interests: Transforming growth factor beta signaling

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

Professor

Research Interests: Human cancer gene therapy; signaling defects in urogenital cancers

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

Assistant Professor

Research Interests: Cancer cachexia, tumor metabolism, inflammation, adipocyte biology, lung cancer, radiation resistance

Puneeth Iyengar, M.D., Ph.D.
Ayaz Najafov, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Research Interests: Cancer, Immunogenic Cell Death, Necroptosis Signaling, Anti-tumor Immunity, Immunotherapy

Ayaz Najafov, Ph.D.
Michael Roth, Ph.D.

Professor

Research Interests: Recognition and sorting of cell-surface glycoproteins

Michael Roth, Ph.D.