Program Co-Leader: Siegfried Janz, MD, DSc, Professor, Pathology
Research in the Cancer Genomics and Cell Growth Program focuses on genetic and molecular events controlling normal versus malignant cell proliferation, differentiation and survival. The overall goal of the program is to define biologically significant genetic and molecular alterations in tumor cells so that information can be used to more effectively detect and treat human cancers. There are two major overlapping themes within the umbrella of the Progam's research.
Theme 1 - Genomic organization and cancer gene expression / analysis
Theme 2 - Cell growth, differentiation, survival and transformation.
Major accomplishments of the Cancer Genomics and Cell Growth Program over the past funding period are best reflected by its identification and characterization of novel cancer genes and/or biomarkers, development of novel animal tumor models to discover and assess cancer gene function in vivo, and increasing collaboration as demonstrated by coalescence of program members into effective working groups. Key examples of intraprogrammatic research collaborations include a) studies revealing the role of chromatin binding proteins (such as RPA, DNA polymerases, HP1, transcription factors) in gene expression and how that impacts the cancer phenotype, b) studies defining basic mechanisms of viral infection and replication, and how that leads to cell transformation, and c) the discovery and subsequent functional analysis of novel genetic pathways of carcinogenesis. There are numerous past and present productive collaborations both between members of the Program, and with members of other Cancer Center programs. There are currently 16 NIH and NCI funded projects involving multiple Program members and/or HCCC members from other programs serving as co-Investigators. The program consists of 36 members from 12 departments (8 basic science and 4 clinical departments) and 5 Colleges. Peer-reviewed, research funding for this program totals $8,449,398 with $2,583,657 coming from the NCI.
Members of the Program have 300 cancer-related publications with nearly 30% collaborative publications (17% intra-programmatic, 12% inter-programmatic) during the last grant period.