Cancer Cell Biology Training Program

UNC-CH now offers a specialized predoctoral training program in cancer cell biology. This unique program combines formal training in molecular/cellular oncogenesis and the pathobiology of cancer, with the opportunity to work in one of 42 state-of-the-art cancer research laboratories.

The training faculty are an accomplished, well-funded and highly interactive group whose interests extend from basic molecular and cellular biology to translational research, and whose experimental systems range from yeast to humans. Overlapping areas of emphasis include signal transduction, cell cycle control, DNA replication, mutagenesis, repair and recombination, molecular carcinogenesis, cancer genetics and progression, and the development of animal models of tumorigenesis. The faculty are all members of the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center and are drawn from a variety of academic departments including Biochemistry and Biophysics, Biology, Cell and Developmental Biology, Microbiology and Immunology, Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Pharmacology, and Radiation Oncology.

The training plan is multifaceted and includes laboratory rotations, didactic courses, seminar tutorials, outstanding extramural seminar programs, and other activities designed to enhance academic development and encourage esprit de corps amongst the trainee group. The program is complemented by the Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center's well-established and highly successful postdoctoral training program.

For more information about individual faculty members, please see our faculty research profiles.

Program Directors

  • Channing J. Der, PhD, Distinguished Professor of Pharmacology
  • Adrienne D. Cox, PhD, Associate Professor of Radiation Oncology and Pharmacology

Training Faculty and Their Research Interests

  • Nancy L. Allbritton, MD, PhD, Distinguished Professor and Chair of Biomedical Engineering, Distinguished Professor of Chemistry and Pharmacology - Signaling in single cells, microfabricated platforms to enable analysis and isolation of cells from sample-limited populations such as animal tumor models and patient biopsies
  • Albert S. Baldwin, PhD, Distinguished Professor of Biology - Control of differential gene expression
  • Victoria L. Bautch, PhD, Professor and Chair of Biology - Molecular controls that govern blood vessel formation
  • James E. Bear, PhD, HHMI Associate Professor of Cell Biology & Physiology - Actin-based cell motility
  • Keith Burridge, PhD, Distinguished Professor of Cell Biology & Physiology - Signaling downstream of integrin-mediated focal adhesions and cadherin-mediated cell-cell adhesions
  • William B. Coleman, PhD, Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine - Genetic and epigenetic molecular mechanisms of neoplastic transformation and their implications for cancer treatment and prevention
  • Jeanette (Jean) G. Cook, PhD, Associate Professor of Biochemistry and Biophysics - DNA replication licensing
  • Adrienne D. Cox, PhD, Associate Professor of Radiation Oncology and Pharmacology - Ras family oncogenes in cancer and radiation biology
  • Blossom Damania, PhD, Professor of Microbiology and Immunology -Molecular pathogenesis of Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV)
  • Channing J. Der, PhD, Distinguished Professor of Pharmacology - Understanding the molecular basis of human carcinogenesis
  • Robert J. Duronio, PhD, Professor of Biology and Genetics - Cell cycle control by the molecular processes that establish pattern formation and determine cell fates during development
  • H. Shelton Earp, III, MD, Distinguished Professor of Medicine and Pharmacology, and Director, Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center - Receptor tyrosine kinase signaling that regulates cell growth, differentiation and programmed cell death
  • Bob Goldstein, PhD, Professor of Biology - Cell polarity in development and evolution of development
  • Klaus M. Hahn, PhD, Distinguished Professor of Pharmacology - Genetically encoded approaches to manipulate kinase and GTPase activity with light
  • Scott M. Hammond, PhD, Associate Professor of Cell Biology and Physiology- The biological role of microRNAs and the RNAi pathway
  • Gary L. Johnson, PhD, Professor & Chair of Pharmacology - Signaling networks controlling cell function and disease
  • David Kaufman, MD, PhD, Professor of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine, and Biochemistry & Biophysics - Functional origins of DNA replication & endometrial epithelial-stromal interaction in organogenesis, homeostasis, and cancer
  • William K. Kaufmann, PhD, Professor of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine - Mechanisms of chromosomal instability in melanoma
  • William Y. Kim, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine and Genetics - Role of hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF) in tumorigenesis
  • David S. Lawrence, PhD, Distinguished Professor of Chemistry, Pharmacology and Pharmacy - Developing general chemical-biology tools to correlate biochemical activity as a function of intracellular locale with biological behavior
  • Terry Magnuson, MD, PhD, Vice Dean of Research, Distinguished Professor and Chair of Genetics - Mammalian genetics/ genomics/development and mouse models of human disease
  • M. Ben Major, PhD, Assistant Professor of Cell & Developmental Biology - How perturbation of specific signal transduction pathways contributes to the initiation, progression and dissemination of cancer
  • William F. Marzluff, PhD, Distinguished Professor of Biochemistry & Biophysics, and Biology - Regulation of gene activity in animal cells, in particular regulation of gene expression during the cell cycle by postranscriptional mechanisms
  • C. Ryan Miller, MD, PhD, Associate Professor of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine - Preclinical drug development in glioblastoma (GBM) genetically-engineered mouse models
  • Joseph S. Pagano, MD, Professor of Medicine and Microbiology & Immunology and Director Emeritus, Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center - Viral latency, the ubiquitin-proteasome system in cell signaling, interferon regulatory factors (IRFs), invasion and metastasis, and antiviral drugs
  • Leslie V. Parise, PhD, Professor & Chair of Biochemistry and Biophysics, and Pharmacology - Mapping signal transduction pathways in transformed cells that cause integrins to mediate increases in cellular migration and invasion
  • Mark Peifer, PhD, Distinguished Professor of Biology - Cell adhesion, signal transduction, and cytoskeletal regulation in development and disease
  • Charles M. Perou, PhD, Distinguished Professor of Genetics, Pathology & Laboratory Medicine - Characterizing the biological diversity of human tumors using genomics, molecular genetics, and cell biology to develop subtype-specific therapies
  • Nancy Raab-Traub, PhD, Distinguished Professor of Microbiology & Immunology - The role of the Epstein-Barr virus in the etiology of human disease
  • Dale A. Ramsden, PhD, Professor of Biochemistry & Biophysics - Study of nonhomologous end joining (NHEJ), a pathway active in all cell types that helps resolve chromosome breaks
  • W. Kimryn Rathmell, MD, PhD, Associate Professor of Hematology and Oncology, and Medicine- Understanding the genetic and molecular aberrations critical for the development of invasive renal cell carcinoma
  • Aziz Sancar, PhD; Distinguished Professor of Biochemistry and Biophysics - Molecular mechanisms of nucleotide excision repair and of circadian clocks
  • Norman (Ned) E. Sharpless, MD, Distinguished Professor of Medicine and Genetics - Role and regulation of p16INK4a and p14ARF in human cancer
  • Brian D. Strahl, PhD, Associate Professor of Biochemistry and Biophysics - Histone modifications and gene regulation
  • Jenny P. Y. Ting, PhD, Distinguished Professor of Microbiology & Immunology - Molecular and transcriptional control of immune responses, oxidative stress and inflammation in cancer, infection, inflammation and autoimmunity
  • Bernard E. Weissman, PhD, Professor of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine - Chromatin remodeling in cancer development
  • Angelique W. Whitehurst, PhD, Assistant Professor of Pharmacology - Cancer pharmacology, genome-wide siRNA screens, identification of genes involved in survival, proliferation and chemosensitivity of tumor cells
  • Yue Xiong, PhD, Distinguished Professor of Biochemistry & Biophysics - Genetic, cellular, biochemical and proteomic approaches to determine the mechanisms controlling the cell cycle in normal human cells, and how this control is altered during tumorigenesis
  • Jen Jen Yeh, PhD, Associate Professor of Surgery and Pharmacology - Identification of novel therapeutic targets in pancreatic cancer and metastatic colorectal cancer
  • Yanping Zhang, PhD, Professor of Radiation Oncology and Pharmacology - Understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying the tumor suppressor p53

For more information about the training program, visit our website Icon indicating that a link will open an external site. or contact: Sarah Hada An icon indicating that a link will launch an email program..