A National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center

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Cancer Biology

City of Hope's Department of Cancer Biology offers a multidisciplinary research and training environment in a number of scientific areas, including:
 
  • Biomedical Informatics
  • Cancer Metabolism
  • Cancer Prevention and Diagnosis
  • Developmental Biology
  • Drug Resistance
  • Epigenetics
  • Hormonal Carcinogenesis
  • Genetics
  • Genomics
  • Tumor Biology

 

The department focuses on understanding the basic mechanisms of genetics, gene expression and function, signaling pathways, mutagenesis, DNA repair and epigenetics as they relate to the development and progression of cancer. Researchers within the department collaborate with clinical and basic research programs within City of Hope and with other research centers nationally and internationally. The research team explores mechanisms of cancer development (known as carcinogenesis) and aim to develop powerful approaches to cancer prevention and to improve diagnostic tools for detecting cancer early, when it is most treatable.


Laboratory Research

Shiuan Chen, Ph.D. – Chair and Professor - Hormones and Cancer: Chemoprevention
Dr. Chen has studied the role of aromatase in breast cancer development for more than 20 years. Currently Dr. Chen's research explores the mechanisms of endocrine resistance in breast cancer cells and seeks to understand the structure-function relationship of the aromatase protein in order to develop chemoprevention strategies using phytochemicals with anti-aromatase activity. His laboratory also investigates the impact of environmental chemicals on human health by modulating aromatase activity and expression.
 
WenYong Chen, Ph.D.Associate Professor - Epigenetics, Cancer and Aging
Dr. Chen's lab deciphers roles and functions of epigenetic regulators and determines their differential contribution to cancer and longevity, and through which, to develop approaches to improve cancer treatment, reduce cancer risk and promote healthy aging.
 
Gerald Holmquist, Ph.D. - Professor Emeritus
 
Jeremy Jones, Ph.D. Assistant Professor - Translational research in Urologic Oncology
Dr. Jones lab focuses on translational research in Urologic Oncology, identifying drug targets and developing treatments for prostate and kidney cancer.
 
Susan Kane, Ph.D.   – Professor Emeritus - Drug Resistance
Dr. Kane’s lab studies the molecular and cellular mechanisms of drug resistance to learn more about the mechanism of action why treatments fail and which patients will best respond to specific therapies.
 
Mei Kong, Ph.D. – Assistant Professor - Signal Transduction and Cancer Metabolism
Dr. Kong's research lab aims to delineate the strategies used by tumor cells to survive periods of metabolic stress and then to develop novel therapies targeting nutrient sensing pathways of neoplastic cells. Currently their research focuses on protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A) complexes in regulation of cancer cell survival upon nutrients deprivation.
 
Edward Newman, Ph.D. – Associate Professor - Development of novel DNA methyltransferase inhibitors for cancer therapy. Co-leader, Development Cancer Therapeutics Program
Dr. Newman's research concentrates on developing novel DNA methyltransferase inhibitors for cancer therapy.
 
Timothy O'Connor, Ph.D. – Associate Chair and Professor - DNA repair, mutagenesis and cancer
Dr. O'Connor's lab is interested in DNA repair mechanisms, the biological consequences of repair failure, exploiting DNA repair mechanisms for therapeutic benefit and how DNA repair mechanisms can be used to control the epigenome of cells.
 
Arthur Riggs, Ph.D. – Adjunct Professor (Chairperson-Diabetes and Director Emeritus, Beckman Research Institute) - DNA Methylation and Mammalian Gene Regulation
Dr. Riggs' lab research is broad-based and encompasses chromatin structure-function and gene regulation. Current studies include epigenetic changes in early mouse development, including demethylation mechanisms.
 
Judith Singer-Sam, Ph.D. – Professor Emeritus - Epigenetics and Developmental Biology
Monoallelic expression is a characteristic of genes that are implicated in certain inherited disorders of the CNS as well as some cancers. Using clonal CNS-derived neural stem cells as a model system, Dr. Sam's group is studying possible mechanisms for such expression.
 
Timothy W. Synold, Pharm. D.Professor;  Director, Analytical Pharmacology Core Facility and Director, Clinical Immunobiology Correlative Studies Laboratory
Dr. Synold has been actively investigating the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of anticancer agents for nearly 25 years. His current research is focused on the blood-brain-brain barrier and its impact on drug delivery to the CNS. Dr. Synold also participates in many of the drug development efforts of City of Hope Cancer Center members, and is Director of the Analytical Pharmacology Core Facility and the Clinical Immunobiology Correlative Studies Laboratory.
 
S. Emily Wang, Ph.D. – Associate Professor - Growth Factors and Cancer
Dr. Wang's group focuses on the role of signaling by growth factor receptors and oncogenes in cancer progression as well as the development of molecular therapeutics based on mechanistic study.
 

Cancer Biology Faculty

Cancer Biology

Cancer Biology

City of Hope's Department of Cancer Biology offers a multidisciplinary research and training environment in a number of scientific areas, including:
 
  • Biomedical Informatics
  • Cancer Metabolism
  • Cancer Prevention and Diagnosis
  • Developmental Biology
  • Drug Resistance
  • Epigenetics
  • Hormonal Carcinogenesis
  • Genetics
  • Genomics
  • Tumor Biology

 

The department focuses on understanding the basic mechanisms of genetics, gene expression and function, signaling pathways, mutagenesis, DNA repair and epigenetics as they relate to the development and progression of cancer. Researchers within the department collaborate with clinical and basic research programs within City of Hope and with other research centers nationally and internationally. The research team explores mechanisms of cancer development (known as carcinogenesis) and aim to develop powerful approaches to cancer prevention and to improve diagnostic tools for detecting cancer early, when it is most treatable.


Laboratory Research

Shiuan Chen, Ph.D. – Chair and Professor - Hormones and Cancer: Chemoprevention
Dr. Chen has studied the role of aromatase in breast cancer development for more than 20 years. Currently Dr. Chen's research explores the mechanisms of endocrine resistance in breast cancer cells and seeks to understand the structure-function relationship of the aromatase protein in order to develop chemoprevention strategies using phytochemicals with anti-aromatase activity. His laboratory also investigates the impact of environmental chemicals on human health by modulating aromatase activity and expression.
 
WenYong Chen, Ph.D.Associate Professor - Epigenetics, Cancer and Aging
Dr. Chen's lab deciphers roles and functions of epigenetic regulators and determines their differential contribution to cancer and longevity, and through which, to develop approaches to improve cancer treatment, reduce cancer risk and promote healthy aging.
 
Gerald Holmquist, Ph.D. - Professor Emeritus
 
Jeremy Jones, Ph.D. Assistant Professor - Translational research in Urologic Oncology
Dr. Jones lab focuses on translational research in Urologic Oncology, identifying drug targets and developing treatments for prostate and kidney cancer.
 
Susan Kane, Ph.D.   – Professor Emeritus - Drug Resistance
Dr. Kane’s lab studies the molecular and cellular mechanisms of drug resistance to learn more about the mechanism of action why treatments fail and which patients will best respond to specific therapies.
 
Mei Kong, Ph.D. – Assistant Professor - Signal Transduction and Cancer Metabolism
Dr. Kong's research lab aims to delineate the strategies used by tumor cells to survive periods of metabolic stress and then to develop novel therapies targeting nutrient sensing pathways of neoplastic cells. Currently their research focuses on protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A) complexes in regulation of cancer cell survival upon nutrients deprivation.
 
Edward Newman, Ph.D. – Associate Professor - Development of novel DNA methyltransferase inhibitors for cancer therapy. Co-leader, Development Cancer Therapeutics Program
Dr. Newman's research concentrates on developing novel DNA methyltransferase inhibitors for cancer therapy.
 
Timothy O'Connor, Ph.D. – Associate Chair and Professor - DNA repair, mutagenesis and cancer
Dr. O'Connor's lab is interested in DNA repair mechanisms, the biological consequences of repair failure, exploiting DNA repair mechanisms for therapeutic benefit and how DNA repair mechanisms can be used to control the epigenome of cells.
 
Arthur Riggs, Ph.D. – Adjunct Professor (Chairperson-Diabetes and Director Emeritus, Beckman Research Institute) - DNA Methylation and Mammalian Gene Regulation
Dr. Riggs' lab research is broad-based and encompasses chromatin structure-function and gene regulation. Current studies include epigenetic changes in early mouse development, including demethylation mechanisms.
 
Judith Singer-Sam, Ph.D. – Professor Emeritus - Epigenetics and Developmental Biology
Monoallelic expression is a characteristic of genes that are implicated in certain inherited disorders of the CNS as well as some cancers. Using clonal CNS-derived neural stem cells as a model system, Dr. Sam's group is studying possible mechanisms for such expression.
 
Timothy W. Synold, Pharm. D.Professor;  Director, Analytical Pharmacology Core Facility and Director, Clinical Immunobiology Correlative Studies Laboratory
Dr. Synold has been actively investigating the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of anticancer agents for nearly 25 years. His current research is focused on the blood-brain-brain barrier and its impact on drug delivery to the CNS. Dr. Synold also participates in many of the drug development efforts of City of Hope Cancer Center members, and is Director of the Analytical Pharmacology Core Facility and the Clinical Immunobiology Correlative Studies Laboratory.
 
S. Emily Wang, Ph.D. – Associate Professor - Growth Factors and Cancer
Dr. Wang's group focuses on the role of signaling by growth factor receptors and oncogenes in cancer progression as well as the development of molecular therapeutics based on mechanistic study.
 

Cancer Biology Faculty

Cancer Biology Faculty

Overview
Beckman Research Institute of City of Hope is responsible for fundamentally expanding the world’s understanding of how biology affects diseases such as cancer, HIV/AIDS and diabetes.
 
 
Research Departments/Divisions

City of Hope is a leader in translational research - integrating basic science, clinical research and patient care.
 

Research Shared Services

City of Hope embodies the spirit of scientific collaboration by sharing services and core facilities with colleagues here and around the world.
 

Our Scientists

Our research laboratories are led by the best and brightest minds in scientific research.
 

City of Hope’s Irell & Manella Graduate School of Biological Sciences equips students with the skills and strategies to transform the future of modern medicine.
Develop new therapies, diagnostics and preventions in the fight against cancer and other life-threatening diseases.
 


NEWS & UPDATES
  • The physical side effects of cancer can damage anyone’s self-confidence, but especially that of women who, rightly or wrongly, are more likely to find their appearance (or their own perception of their appearance) directly connected to their ability to face the world with something resembling ap...
  • The promise of stem cell therapy has long been studied in laboratories. Now, as medicine enters an era in which this therapy will be increasingly available to patients, the nurses who help deliver it will be in the spotlight. City of Hope, which has launched its Alpha Clinic for Cell Therapy and Innovation (ACT...
  • Just because you can treat a condition, such as high cholesterol, at the end of life — well, that doesn’t mean you should. That’s the basic lesson of a study to be published March 30 in JAMA Internal Medicine. The ramifications go far beyond that. The research, in which City of Hope’s Betty Fe...
  • The understanding of the relationship between genetics and cancer risk continues to grow, with more genetic testing than ever before available to patients. However, the adage that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing is applicable: Without context for what a test result means, and without meaningful guidance...
  • Standard prostate biopsies haven’t changed significantly in the past 30 years – nor have the problems inherent with them. Regular biopsies have an expected error rate: Tumors may potentially be undersampled and, 30 percent of the time, men who undergo a radical prostatectomy are found to have more aggress...
  • In the field of cancer, patients have had surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy as options. Now, as City of Hope officially opens the Alpha Clinic for Cellular Therapy and Innovation, patients battling cancer and other life-threatening diseases have another option: stem-cell-based therapy. The Alpha Clini...
  • How does the environment affect our health? Specifically, how does it affect our risk of cancer? City of Hope physicians and researchers recently answered those questions in an Ask the Experts event in Corona, California, explaining the underlying facts about how the environment can affect our health. Moderator...
  • Nurses and other medical professionals have come to understand that it’s not enough just to fight disease. They also must provide pain relief, symptom control, and an unrelenting commitment to improve patients’ quality of life — especially at the end of life. Not too long ago, this was a relatively ...
  • “Tonight, I’m launching a new precision medicine initiative to bring us closer to curing diseases like cancer.” These were the words of President Barack Obama on Jan. 20, 2015, during his State of the Union address. So what is precision medicine, and how close are we to making it a reality for...
  • March is Colon Cancer Awareness Month. How sad, yet how serendipitous, that the co-creator of “The Simpsons” Sam Simon passed away in March after a four-year battle against colon cancer. What message can we all learn from his illness that can help us prevent and overcome colon cancer in our own lives? Colon can...
  • Misagh Karimi, M.D., assistant clinical professor, is a medical oncologist at one of City of Hope’s newest community practice locations, located in Corona in Riverside County. A recent community health report from Corona’s public health department stated that obesity rates for teens and adults in Riverside Coun...
  • In 1975, the median survival for patients with ovarian cancer was about 12 months. Today, the median survival is more than 5 years. Although researchers and clinicians are far from satisfied, the progress in ovarian cancer treatment is encouraging, said Robert Morgan, M.D., F.A.C.P., professor of medical oncolo...
  • Colorectal cancer may be one of the most common cancers in both men and women, but it’s also one of the most curable cancers. Today, because of effective screening tests and more advanced treatment options, there are more than 1 million survivors of colorectal cancer in the United States. Here, colorectal...
  • Breast cancer treatment can damage a woman’s ability to become pregnant, making the impact on fertility one of the key factors that many consider when choosing a therapy regimen. Now a study has found that breast cancer patients treated with a hormone-blocking drug in addition to chemotherapy were less li...
  • My colleagues in the clinic know I’ve got a soft spot. Last week, a patient of mine offered me a fantastic compliment. “You’re looking younger these days, Dr. Pal!” she said, offering me a big hug as she proceeded out of the clinic room. Lovely, I thought. The early morning workouts are paying off. She continue...