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Cancer Cell Biology

The Graduate Program in Cancer Cell Biology offers interdisciplinary biomedical research training leading to the Ph.D. and M.D./Ph.D. degrees. Research is focused on the molecular basis of cancer etiology, progression, and translational applications.

Three main areas of research emphasis are:

  • Cellular signaling
  • Tumor microenvironment
  • Cancer Therapeutics

Cellular signaling focuses on protein and lipid-based signals that regulate tumor growth, survival, and motility.  Tumor microenvironment addresses the mechanisms by which tumor cells interact with other cells in the stroma to promote tumor survival, angiogenesis, and inflammation.  Therapeutics addresses the mechanisms by which novel cancer therapeutic compounds block tumor cell growth and metastasis, as well as strategies for the translational development and delivery of conventional chemotherapeutics and targeted small molecule compounds.

Specific topics of research emphasis:

  • Apoptosis and anoikis in regulating tumor cell survival
  • Actin binding proteins and their role in motility and invasion of breast, ovarian, and head and neck cancers
  • Clinical screening of lung and head and neck cancers for epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutations
  • Drug design
  • Stromal/tumor cell interactions in leukemia
  • Pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics
  • Preclinical assessment of novel small molecule therapeutic compound
  • Signaling and cytoskeletal regulation of breast cancer angiogenesis
  • Role of HPV in cervical cancer
  • Nanotechnology in tumor cell surveillance
Scott Weed, Ph.D., Program Director
Scott Weed, Ph.D., Program Director
(304) 293-0781
Faculty Research Profile