Associate Professor, Genetics
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
- Susan G Komen Career Catalyst Award Recipient, 2019
- DOD Breast Cancer Breakthrough Grant Recipient, 2019
- UNC School of Medicine Simmons Scholar
News and Stories
Leading investigators offer ‘highly scientific, but patient-focused’ talks on women’s cancers at symposium
UNC Lineberger’s 46th annual Scientific Symposium brought together more than 350 people in person and virtually to hear talks on the latest research on women’s cancers.
American Association for Cancer Research’s annual meeting to feature UNC Lineberger experts, research
UNC Lineberger faculty and trainees will be presenting their research findings and sharing their insights at education sessions during the American Association for Cancer Research’s annual meeting April 14-19.
UNC Lineberger creates RNA Discovery Center
The UNC RNA Discovery Center, led by Chad Pecot, MD, will cultivate an inclusive community of scientists dedicated to investigating all aspects of RNA biology.
Molecular aspects of ovarian and endometrial tumors mapped to the level of a single cell
Researchers led by Hector L. Franco, PhD, have determined for the first time, cell-by-cell, the genetic and epigenetic state of ovarian and endometrial tumors.