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The Virginia Harris Cockrell Cancer Research Center at Science Park

Science Park is a basic research campus of MD Anderson located near Austin. Home to the Department of Epigenetics and Molecular Carcinogenesis, MD Anderson's largest basic science department, the campus offers a unique setting for research, education and conferences.

Our Research

Our research aims to define the mechanisms that control normal cell proliferation, differentiation, survival and genome maintenance to identify the processes that drive cancer. Research in the department is multidisciplinary and falls under three areas:

Research Highlight

The Bedford lab studies the methylation of arginine amino acids in histones and other chromatin-associated proteins. In a recent study, they showed that TDRD3, a reader of methyl-arginine marks on histone tails, interacts with TOP3B, a topoisomerase that unwinds DNA at regions of active gene expression. The study provides evidence that this partnership can prevent DNA breakage and chromosomal translocations, two of the hallmarks of cancer.

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Learn more about the Bedford lab


Our Campus


Nestled within the Lost Pines forest of Central Texas near Smithville, the Science Park campus is within driving distance from Austin, "The Live Music Capital of the World."


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More News


Departmental Seminar Series: Andrew Thorburn, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, "Autophagy and Cell Death." Dec. 2, 11:00 am, Conference Center Auditorium, Smithville.

Hogg Seminar Series: Chuan He, PhD,  University of Chicago, "Dynamic DNA and RNA Methylation in Gene Expression Regulation." Nov. 30, 11:00 am, Conference Center Auditorium, Smithville.

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New Faculty Member: Margarida A. Santos, PhD

Dr. Santos recently joined the Department of Epigenetics and Molecular Carcinogenesis as a new assistant professor. Her laboratory studies the DNA damage response and the epigenetic regulation of normal and cancer stem cells using the hematopoietic system. She uses this model for two reasons: 1) it is a well-established system for adult stem cell studies; and 2) its dynamic nature places it in a vulnerable position with respect to genomic damage during DNA replication.