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: Will resume in the fall.

Hogg Seminar Series: Will resume in the fall.

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Faculty Spotlight: Blaine Bartholomew, PhD

The cellular machinery responsible for DNA replication, transcription and repair is prevented from contacting naked DNA by a higher-order DNA-protein structure known as chromatin. The basic repeating unit of chromatin is the nucleosome, which is composed of a core histone octamer, wrapped with DNA. The Bartholomew lab investigates a family of proteins that reorganize chromatin using energy derived from ATP. His lab focuses on the structure and function of these complexes and their roles in development and differentiation. The laboratory utilizes a variety of model systems and combines genetic, biochemical and biophysical techniques to interrogate physical interactions within these complexes and their nucleosomal substrates.