Skip to main content
chemistry dna

Signal Transduction and Chemical Biology Research Program

The pathways that send chemical signals from the cell surface to the nucleus are major targets of genotype-driven therapies for cancer. The Signal Transduction and Chemical Biology Research Program aims to better understand how changes in tumor cells alter these signaling networks, and to identify—or create—molecules that target these pathways as potential new therapies for cancer.

RESEARCH THEMES

The Signal Transduction and Chemical Biology Research Program is organized into four groups with common research interests:

Identifying how changes in key cell cycle proteins help tumor cells escape the typical response of cell death and lead to uncontrollable growth

Finding and developing compounds that inhibit key drivers of cancer formation

Combining ‘big data’ experimental approaches to understand the changes in signaling networks that drive cancer formation

Determining how cancer-initiating stem cells continuously renew and seed distant sites to promote metastasis, and understanding the role of these cells in resistance to chemotherapies

Meet the Program Members

The Signal Transduction and Chemical Biology program, led by Ian Macara, PhD, and Stephen Fesik, PhD, is an active group of over 40 basic, translational, and clinical scientists whose goal is to understand how signaling networks control cell proliferation and function, to identify drug leads, and to develop new cancer therapeutics.

Featured Publications

Program News

May 30, 2019

Study details regulation of a multi-drug transporter

Vanderbilt University researchers have discovered how a protein pump distinguishes between chemicals that it will expel from a cell and inhibitors that block its action - findings that could guide the development of more efficient inhibitors to prevent cancer cell resistance to chemotherapy.
April 25, 2019

Cancer Center’s annual scientific retreat set for May 1

The 20th Annual Scientific Retreat will be held Wednesday, May 1, 8:30 a.m.
April 5, 2019

Like racecars and geese, cancer cells draft their way to new tumor sites

Finding gives boost to fighting cancer through cell metabolism