Areas of Research
- Epigenetics Research
- Molecular Carcinogenesis Research
- Histone Modification Research
- DNA Methylation
- Chromatin Remodelers Research
- DNA Polymerases Research
- Genome Stability Research
- DNA Repair Research
- DNA Damage Response
- Chromatin Research
- Leukemia Research
- Stem Cell Biology Research
- Gene Expression Research
- Germline Mutagenesis
- Biochemistry Research
- Molecular Biology Research
- Developmental Biology Research
- Genetics Research
- Apoptosis Research
- Autophagy Research
Welcome to the Department of Epigenetics and Molecular Carcinogenesis. We are an interdisciplinary, basic science research department with faculty laboratories and resources located primarily in Smithville, Texas but also in Houston, Texas. Our research aims to define the mechanisms that control normal cell proliferation, differentiation, survival and genome maintenance to identify the processes that drive cancer.
Leadership in Basic Science Research and Education
As one of six basic science departments at MD Anderson, with faculty members in both Houston and Smithville, the Department of Epigenetics and Molecular Carcinogenesis makes substantial contributions to the research and education missions of the institution. Departmental faculty provide leadership to one of the major basic science programs within institutional Cancer Center Support Grant (CCSG) from the NCI: the Program in Cancer Genetics and Epigenetics. This grant helps support the research both within the department and across the institution, especially with respect to providing funding for many of our departmental and institutional research support facilities and cores.
Faculty members also direct the Center for Cancer Epigenetics (CCE), a Center for Research Excellence within the Institute of Basic Science (IBS). The majority of our faculty are active CCE members, thus helping to build and maintain strong bridges between the MD Anderson campuses at Science Park/Smithville and Houston, as well as with other scientists within the Texas Medical Center.
Finally, our departmental faculty, trainees and staff further unite the Houston and Science Park campuses through their involvement in the University of Texas Health Science Center/MD Anderson Cancer Center Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences (GSBS) basic science research Ph.D. program, Genetics and Epigenetics. This program includes faculty in both Houston and at Science Park and is aimed at defining the basic biological mechanisms underlying disease and development using model organisms, with the goal of translating these findings into human medical treatments. The graduate program holds an annual retreat, which promotes inter-campus interaction, collaboration and comaraderie.
Science Park Smithville
The majority of our faculty members conduct their research at The Virginia Harris Cockrell Cancer Research Center at Science Park in Smithville, Texas. However, our research operations are slated to move to Houston during the Summer of 2021.
State-of-the-Art Shared Resources
Department faculty direct several shared resources, including the NIH Cancer Center Support Grant (CCSG) supported Sequencing and Microarray Facility in Houston and the Science Park Research Animal Support Facility (RASF-S), which itself is related to several core services including the Research Histology, Pathology and Imaging Core as well as Laboratory Animal Genetic Services. The Epigenomics Profiling core in Houston, and the Molecular Biology Core in Smithville are also departmental shared resources. Other resources include several Cancer Prevention Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT)-funded cores: a Next-Generation Sequencing Core, a Protein Array and Analysis Core, a Flow Cytometry and Cellular Imaging Core (FCCIC) and a Recombinant Antibody Production Core. On-site bioinformatics and biostatistics support is also available to our researchers.
Science Park Faculty
The Virginia Harris Cockrell Cancer Research Center
at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Science Park
Department of Epigenetics and Molecular Carcinogenesis, Unit 116
Main Telephone Number: 512-237-2403
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 389, Smithville, Texas 78957
Physical Address: 1808 Park Road 1C, Smithville, Texas 78957
Sharon Y. R. Dent, Ph.D.
Director, Science Park
Chair, Department of Epigenetics
and Molecular Carcinogenesis
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Department of Epigenetics and Molecular Carcinogenesis, Unit 1000
1515 Holcombe Blvd.
Houston, Texas 77030