The molecular cancer biologists at Duke University seek to understand the complex regulatory mechanisms that govern mammalian cell growth and differentiation, discern how these mechanisms are perturbed in malignant cells, and how our knowledge of these regulatory mechanisms might lead to improved anti-cancer therapy. This research covers the boundaries of disciplines such as pharmacology, biochemistry, molecular biology, genetics and cell biology, and has increased our knowledge of the basic mechanisms underlying growth regulation. To understand how and why these mechanisms fail, and how their failure results in the initiation of cancer requires an understanding of the molecules involved in chemically and cellularly precise terms, so as to decipher their ultimate impact on the growth and development of the organism.
The Program in Molecular Cancer Biology (MCB) includes faculty from nine participating departments. Program scientists are actively engaged in dissecting the regulatory networks that control the processes of growth and development at the cellular and molecular levels, and the defects that lead to oncogenic transformation.
The approaches used by the investigators range from classical genetics to cell and molecular biology and protein biochemistry. An ultimate goal is identifying novel candidates for therapeutic intervention of oncogenesis. Graduate training in this program is greatly enhanced by the interaction between investigators.