Cancer Biology Research Program

cancer biology program themesThe Cancer Biology Research Program at Hollings Cancer Center focuses on identifying and characterizing genetic and epigenetic alterations that affect cancer. The driving rationale is that identified gene-RNA-protein networks and pathways represent potential targets for diagnostics, prognostics and therapeutic interventions. The overall goals of this program are to show how these alterations in tumor cells and their microenvironment impact normal signaling and growth characteristics of tumors and to support development and validation of preventive and therapeutic strategies to treat cancer.

These goals are realized through a multi-level approach that includes monthly program meetings, program-specific seminars, transdisciplinary research teams, intramural funding and training opportunities, investments in existing and new shared resources and targeted recruitment of faculty. The Cancer Biology Research Program membership consists of 30 basic and clinical scientists drawn from 11 departments distributed across the colleges of Medicine and Dental Medicine at MUSC.

The overall themes of the program focus on:

  • Cancer genomics and genetics: To identify driver genomic alterations and elucidate how they contribute to tumor development and progression
  • Molecular regulation of gene expression: To determine the transcriptional and post-transcriptional regulatory mechanisms mediating malignancy including gene expression; RNA stability, processing and translation; and non-coding RNAs
  • • The tumor micro- and macro-environment: To elucidate cell-to-cell communication and extracellular factors in the tumor micro- and macro-environment that drive tumor progression

Program Leader

Dr. Philip H. HowePhilip H. Howe, Ph.D.

Professor and Chair of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology

College of Medicine

Academic Focus

  • Cytokine signaling in cancer
  • Cancer stem cells

 Research Profile

Dr. Yiwen Bu and Dr. J. Alan Diehl

Cancer overrides the circadian clock to survive

Tumor cells use the unfolded protein response to alter circadian rhythm, which contributes to more tumor growth, Hollings Cancer Center researchers at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) find. A key part of the circadian clock opposes this process, according to a paper published online Dec. 11 in Nature Cell Biology.

Dr. Yiwen Bu and Dr. J. Alan Diehl are hoping their research will lead to a way to restore a cancer cell's biological clock and give cancer patients a better chance at survival.

Shared Resources

To ensure cancer investigators have access to specialized technology and research services, the Hollings Cancer Center supports shared resources that are efficient, cost-effective and provide the latest industry standards for enhanced scientific productivity.

Shared Resources

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