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Laboratory of Human Carcinogenesis

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Overview

The Laboratory of Human Carcinogenesis has a multifaceted research program integrating basic, translational, clinical, and population research, with a major focus on common and lethal human cancers that include tumors of the breast, colon, esophagus, liver, lung, pancreas and prostate. Our studies utilize a Precision Medicine Strategy (Figure 1). Our main objectives are to conduct investigations that assess: (1) Mechanisms of carcinogenesis including the cellular functions of cancer driving genes; (2) experimental approaches in biological systems for the extrapolation of carcinogenesis data and mechanisms from in vitro models and experimental animals to humans; (3) molecular integrative epidemiology of human cancer risk; and (4) cancer biomarkers of diagnosis, prognosis, and therapeutic outcome.

The laboratory consists of five sections; the Liver Carcinogenesis Section (LCS), the Molecular Genetics and Carcinogenesis Section (MGCS), the Molecular Epidemiology Section (MES), the Pancreatic Cancer Unit (PCU) and the Integrative Molecular Epidemiology Unit (IMEU). Scientifically, the emphasis is on the role of inherited or acquired host factors as important determinants of an individual's cancer susceptibility and outcomes. Our investigations of host factors include interspecies studies among laboratory animals and humans, and are multidisciplinary to include molecular and cellular biology, pathology, epidemiology and clinical investigation. The MGCS headed by Dr. Curtis Harris devotes their major efforts to precision medicine studies of lung and colon cancer, including fundamental and mechanistic studies. The LCS headed by Dr. Xin Wang focuses mainly on dissecting tumor heterogeneity of liver cancer to improve outcome among diverse populations and identifying cancer drivers through integrated genomics. The MES headed by Dr. Stefan Ambs mainly conducts integrative molecular epidemiology studies of prostate cancer and breast cancer with a special emphasis on health disparity and utilizes epidemiological and translational research strategies to identify risk factors and pathways that influence tumor development and progression. The PCU headed by Dr. Perwez Hussain conducts integrative molecular epidemiology studies of pancreatic cancer and utilizes epidemiological and translational research strategies to identify risk factors and pathways that influence tumor development and progression. The IMEU headed by Dr. Brid Ryan uses an integrative and translational approach to study the genetics and biology behind health disparities in lung cancer and the effect of environmental exposures linked to lung cancer on RNA biology. The overall goal of LHC is to acquire knowledge that will improve cancer prevention, early detection, stratification and effective treatment.

This page was last updated on 6/24/2014.