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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


Hogg Seminar Series: Will resume in the fall.

Departmental Seminar Series: Will resume in the fall.

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Faculty Spotlight: Kevin McBride, PhD

The McBride lab studies the role of activation induced deaminase (AID) in antibody diversification and cancer development. Normally, DNA damage is considered detrimental to genomic stability. However, activation induced deaminase (AID) induces DNA double-stranded breaks (DSBs) and mutations (hypermutation) that are critical for leading to antibody diversity to help fight infectious disease. Yet, AID can also induce unintended DNA damage, including point mutations in oncogenes and chromosome translocations leading to B-cell leukemias and lymphomas. Understanding how AID chooses its targets is fundamental to understanding how it causes deleterious DSBs.
Learn more about Dr. McBride's research.