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cancer development and progression.

The overall goals of the Molecular Oncology & Biomarkers (MOB) program are to understand the fundamental cellular and molecular processes that contribute to cancer development and progression. The research interests of the program can be divided into three broad themes: genetics and epigenetics of cancer development and progression; cell stress and metabolism; and cancer cell metastasis. Collectively, these themes address important topics of tumor cell and molecular biology:  Genome-wide analysis of epigenetic changes in cancer development as a tool to identify biomarkers for prediction of progression and prognosis;  The genetic basis of cancer development and progression through the roles of specific genes and pathways;  The genetic basis of metastasis underlying the roles of metastasis suppressor genes, metastasis promoting genes, and microRNAs involved in metastasis;  Cancer genomics in primary human tumors and mouse models of cancer using gene expression and Next Gen sequencing;  Application of bioinformatics tools to study complex data sets;  The role of transcription factors in promoting cancer progression;  The role of oncogenes and glycoconjugates in cancer cell progression;  Analysis of heat shock chaperones and other stress proteins in cancer development and as targets for cancer therapies;  Investigations of natural products as preventative and therapeutic agents; and  The role of obesity and metabolic changes in the development of cancer. Research in this program uses a wide variety of state-of-the-art cell and molecular biology approaches to understand the fundamental events underlying tumorigenesis and to explore how this knowledge impacts the prediction of tumor progression and whether specific genetic changes affecting cancer development can guide targeted therapies, leading to investigator-initiated clinical trials.