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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

March 22, 2018

Study tracks protein’s role in stem cell function

Many types of cancer cells escape the body’s effort to kill them by overexpressing MCL-1, a protein important for blocking apoptosis, or programmed cell death. A recent study by Vivian Gama, PhD and colleagues indicates that MCL-1 also helps maintain the identity and ability of stem cells to differentiate, or give rise to other kinds of cells. 
March 22, 2018

Boehringer Ingelheim and Vanderbilt University expand partnership to develop novel treatment approaches for cancer

Boehringer Ingelheim and Vanderbilt University recently announced the expansion of their successful existing collaboration to develop novel anti-cancer compounds.

Seminars & Events

Calendar
Oct
11
VICC Seminar Series: Senthil Muthuswamy, PhD

11 October 2018