Cancer Biology has always been a research focus in Texas, but in 2007 Texas voters approved a state consitutional amendment to establish the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) with a mission to promote a substantial increase in local cancer research. This department has a number of research groups that engage in cancer-related research, ranging from biochemical research at the molecular level to tissue engineering approaches.
Human salivary gland acinar cells organize in culture on perlecan domain IV peptide, images from the Farach-Carson Lab
Kathleen M. Beckingham: Development of methods for detecting and ablating malignant T cells based on the use of nanotube-antibody conjugates.
Expression and function of cell surface components involved in
embryonic development and tumor cell models. Study of the heparan
sulfate proteoglycan perlecan.
Mary C. (Cindy) Farach-Carson:
The role of extracellular matrix in the progression of cancer; the use
of proteoglycans in the engineering of connective tissues.
José Onuchic: Biophysical studies and modeling of protein folding and convergent kinetic pathways, the theory of chemical reactions in condensed matter with emphasis on biological electron transfer reactions, and stochastic effects in genetic networks.
George N. Phillips, Jr.:
X-ray crystallography and other biophysical and computational methods are used to relate the three-dimensional structure and dynamics of proteins to their biological functions. Applications of some of the laboratory projects include enzyme discovery for natural product biosynthesis, improving the thermostability of proteins for potential commercial improvements, and contributing basic science results to the development of biofuels, particularly from cellulosic biomass.
Yousif Shamoo: DNA
replication and its relationship to cancer; directed evolution of
protein structure-function, sequence specific protein-RNA interactions
in eukaryotic RNA processing proteins (lab home page).
Yizhi Jane Tao: Studies of the chromosomal segregation protein Separase as
a target for cancer therapy; eukaryotic chromosome cohesion and
condensation; hepatitis B virus genome replication (lab home page).
Daniel Wagner: Analysis of early development of the zebrafish embryo to determine the mechanisms responsible for the control and execution of vertebrate morphogenetic movements, studies of brain development and cancer in the zebrafish model organism.