Department of Cancer Biology

The Department of Cancer Biology has a long history of being a leader in the field of translational cancer research. The department has emphasized the training of students, postdoctoral fellows and clinical fellows in the fundamentals of tumor biology to improve the outcomes of patients with malignancies. The department has built a program with close ties to many clinical departments to facilitate information exchange between the laboratory and the clinic. As such, faculty in the department are investigators on NIH funded collaborative research grants [“Specialized Programs of Research Excellence” (SPOREs)], including the following organ/disease sites (Pancreas, Bladder, CNS, Prostate, Melanoma and Lung). In addition, there are several physician-scientists who have joint appointments in Cancer Biology, facilitating the exchange of clinically relevant information between the laboratory and the clinic.

Investigations in the Department of Cancer Biology include studies on the tumor microenvironment, metastasis, angiogenesis, apoptosis, transcription, invasion, tumor suppressor genes, oncogenes, cancer stem cells, epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition, signaling, biomarkers, resistance to therapy and tumor modeling. The department also serves as the “anchor” department for the Metastasis Research Center, an integrated program involving investigators throughout the Cancer Center. Graduate students and postdoctoral fellows play a vital role in departmental activities and many on the faculty have won teaching awards from the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences.

Most faculty members have laboratories in the Smith Research Building, where numerous core facilities (vivarium, electron microscope core, etc.) are at the investigator’s disposal. Together with the Metastasis Research Center, the department holds a weekly seminar series where nationally and internationally recognized investigators provide formal lectures. The department also sponsors a Wednesday morning “chalkboard” talk, where faculty and trainees present data in progress. The “Smith Lectureship”, sponsored by the department and the Metastasis Research Center is an annual endowed lecture that highlights the work of internationally recognized leaders in the field of cancer research.

In addition to their research, the faculty is dedicated to educating and training the next generation of cancer investigators and in making a difference in the lives of patients with cancer.

Related Programs

Cancer Biology Program

Molecular and Cellular Oncology

Contact Info

Direct: 713-792-8577
Fax: 713-792-8586

1881 East Rd.
3SCR5.3410, Unit 1906
Houston, Texas 77054-1901