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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: "Experimental modeling of CRPC development and identification of novel CRPC-targeting therapeutics," Kiera Rycaj, MD Anderson Cancer Center, Science Park, July 28, 2014 - 11:00 a.m.

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Faculty Spotlight: Shawn Bratton, PhD

The Bratton lab studies apoptosis (programmed cell death) and autophagy (self-cannibalism). Defective apoptosis is a hallmark of cancer and a major cause of resistance during cancer therapy. Autophagy, on the other hand, can play important roles in either suppressing or promoting cancer, depending upon the cellular and microenvironmental context.

Learn More About the Bratton Laboratory