Hector L. Franco

Hector L. Franco, PhD, is a UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center member and appointed assistant professor in the Department of Genetics. The research in his lab seeks to understand the molecular mechanisms that control the initiation and progression of cancer by focusing on the epigenetic and transcriptional programs that regulate these processes.

Assistant Professor
UNC-Chapel Hill
Breast Cancer, Cancer Genetics

Area of Interest

The Franco lab has a long-standing interest in gene regulation, epigenetics, and RNA biology, especially as it pertains to cancer. We are interested in studying the formation and function of transcriptional enhancers and the non-coding RNAs that are actively produced at enhancers, known as enhancer RNAs, which are involved in modulating several aspects of gene regulation. In addition, we aim to understand how transcriptional enhancers help orchestrate tumor progression, resistance to therapy and metastasis of breast, ovarian, and endometrial tumors. We address these research aims by using an interdisciplinary approach that combines molecular and cellular techniques with powerful genomic and computational approaches.

Awards and Honors

  • 2019 Susan G Komen Career Catalyst Award Recipient
  • 2019 DOD Breast Cancer Breakthrough Grant Recipient
  • UNC School of Medicine Simmons Scholar

Find publications on PubMed