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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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Departmental Seminar Series: Jianlong Wang, Ph.D. Mount Sinai School of Medicine. Pluripotency and Reprogramming: an Interactive Perspective. March 4, 2015, 11:00 am. Conference Center Auditorium.

Hogg Seminar Series: Angelika Amon, Ph.D, MIT Consequences of Aneuploidy. March 11, 2015, 11:00 am Conference Center Auditorium.

View additional Events and Seminars

Faculty Spotlight: Francesca Cole, PhD

The Cole lab studies homologous recombination (HR) during mouse meiosis. HR is critical to proper DNA repair. Improper repair can lead to mutation, loss of genome integrity and tumorigenesis. Dr. Cole has developed a new assay (mouse tetrad analysis) to better understand the mechanisms underlying HR and how repair proteins cooperate to effect repair in vivo.

Learn More About Dr. Cole's Research.