Cancer Cell Biology

The Cancer Cell Biology research program at Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University studies the changes in biological function of human cells as a result of cell transformation.

The Cancer Cell Biology research program at Winship Cancer Institute encompasses a tightly knit team of scientists grouped around the central theme of tumor cell energy, survival, and cell communication and adhesion.

The program focuses on inter- and intra-cellular signaling modulated by the tumor microenvironment, and its ramifications for the development of prevention, prediction, biomarker and therapeutic target discovery and drug development. It is a program centered on cancer biology, with broad-based applications to many forms of solid and liquid tumors.

The primary themes of the Cancer Cell Biology program are (1) Cell Survival and Death Mechanisms, and (2) Tumor-Stromal Interactions. The themes reflect a major emphasis on translating novel basic science investigations to clinical applications. The program discovers novel intra-tumoral signaling pathway components, deciphers cross-talk between the tumor and stromal cells, evaluates their impact on cancer cell behavior, and identifies potential new targets and biomarkers that can be exploited for tumor detection through imaging. Discoveries are prioritized for further development as novel clinically validated biomarkers, therapeutic agents or clinical imaging modalities in conjunction with the Discovery and Developmental Therapeutics and Cancer Prevention and Control programs.

Led by Erwin Van Meir, PhD, and Lawrence Boise, PhD, the Cancer Cell Biology program includes thirty-eight members from fourteen academic departments from the Emory University School of Medicine.

The overall goal of the Cancer Cell Biology program is to understand the cancer signalosome and how it directs the abnormal cell biology that leads to cancer formation.

The program expands on our knowledge of existing cancer signaling pathways and identifies new signaling pathways. Critical nodes and junction points contained in these signaling pathways can lead to the development of novel targets, targeting agents, biomarkers and imaging modalities for cancer prevention, detection, diagnosis and follow-up.

The objectives of the Cancer Cell Biology program are:

  • To understand the mechanism by which cancer cells escape physiological signals leading to cell death and to understand the vulnerabilities of cancer cells to death induction by therapeutic agents.
  • To identify key mediators of tumor-stromal interactions that permit primary tumor growth and metastasis at distant sites.
  • To decipher cross-talk between tumors cells and stromal cells.
  • To discover novel tumoral signaling pathway components that impact tumor adhesion, communication, invasion and metastasis.
  • To translate basic science discoveries to reduce the burden of cancer in the clinic.

Cancer Cell Biology program members continuously publish high-quality research in premier scientific journals.

View Publications by Program Members

To learn more about the Cancer Cell Biology research program at Winship Cancer Institute, please contact Stephanie Gitukui at (404) 778-6143.

Visit the Emory University's Cancer Biology Graduate Program website to learn about outstanding training opportunities in every aspect of cancer research, from basic to translational.

Photo of  Erwin G. Van Meir, PhD
Erwin G. Van Meir, PhD

Erwin G. Van Meir, PhD

Leader, Cancer Cell Biology Research Program, and Director, Laboratory for Molecular Neuro-Oncology
Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University

Dr. Van Meir directs the Laboratory of Molecular Neuro-Oncology and participates in a multidisciplinary neuro-oncology team that designs new approaches for brain tumor therapy.

Photo of  Lawrence Boise, PhD
Lawrence Boise, PhD

Lawrence Boise, PhD

Professor, Department of Hematology and Medical Oncology
Emory University School of Medicine

Dr. Boise serves as co-leader of Winship's Cancer Cell Biology Research Program.

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N. Volkan Adsay, MD
Professor, Department of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine, Emory University School of Medicine
Leon Bernal-Mizrachi, MD
Assistant Professor, Department of Hematology and Medical Oncology, Emory University School of Medicine
Lawrence Boise, PhD
Professor, Department of Hematology and Medical Oncology, Emory University School of Medicine
Daniel J. Brat, MD, PhD
Director, Cancer Tissue and Pathology Shared Resource, Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University
Kevin Bunting, PhD
Associate Professor, Department of Pediatrics, Division of Hematology and Oncology, Emory University School of Medicine
Robert Craig Castellino, MD
Assistant Professor, Department of Pediatrics, Emory University School of Medicine
Jing Chen, PhD
Co-Director, Experimental Therapeutics Program in Leukemia, Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University
Cynthia Cohen, MD
Professor, Department of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine, Emory University School of Medicine
Lee Cooper, PhD, MS
Assistant Professor, Departments of Biomedical Informatics and Biomedical Engineering, Emory University School of Medicine
Max D. Cooper, MD
Professor, Department of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine, Emory University School of Medicine
Yue Feng, MD, PhD
Professor, Department of Pharmacology, Emory University School of Medicine
Melissa Gilbert-Ross, PhD
Director, Cancer Animal Model Shared Resource, Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University
Kelly C. Goldsmith, MD
Assistant Professor, Department of Pediatrics, Emory University School of Medicine
Hans E. Grossniklaus, MD, MBA
Director, Section of Ocular Oncology and Pathology, Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University
David Gutman, MD, PhD
Assistant Professor, Department of Biomedical Informatics, Emory University School of Medicine
Costas G. Hadjipanayis, MD, PhD
Director, Brain Tumor Center , Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University
Cimona V. Hinton, PhD
Assistant Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, Clark Atlanta University
Joseph A. Hollenbaugh, PhD, MS
Instructor, Department of Pediatrics, Emory University School of Medicine
David L. Jaye, MD
Assistant Professor, Department of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine, Emory University School of Medicine
Yi Jiang, PhD
Adjunct Associate Professor, Department of Physics, Emory University
Dean Jones, PhD
Professor, Division of Pulmonary, Allergy, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine, Department of Medicine , Emory University School of Medicine
Tongzhong Ju, MD, PhD
Associate Professor, Department of Biochemistry , Emory University School of Medicine
Richard A. Kahn, PhD, MS
Professor, Department of Biochemistry, Emory University School of Medicine
Stefan Kaluz, PhD
Instructor, Department of Neurosurgery, Emory University School of Medicine
Sumin Kang, PhD
Assistant Professor, Department of Hematology and Medical Oncology, Emory University School of Medicine
Anna M. Kenney, PhD
Associate Professor, Department of Pediatrics, Emory University School of Medicine
Jun Kong, PhD, MS
Assistant Professor, Department of Biomedical Informatics , Emory University
Andrew P. Kowalczyk, PhD
Assistant Professor, Departments of Cell Biology and Dermatology, Emory University School of Medicine
Wilbur Lam, MD, PhD
Assistant Professor, Division of Hematology/Oncology, Department of Pediatrics, Emory University School of Medicine
J. David Lambeth, MD, PhD
Professor, Department of Pathology, Emory University School of Medicine
Xiao-Jiang Li, MD, PhD, MS
Professor, Department of Human Genetics, Emory University School of Medicine
Tobey J. MacDonald, MD
Director, Pediatric Neuro-Oncology Program, Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center
Adam Marcus, PhD
Director, Integrated Cellular Imaging Shared Resource, Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University
Kenneth H. Moberg, PhD
Associate Professor, Department of Cell Biology, Emory University School of Medicine
Edward S. Mocarski, PhD
Robert W. Woodruff Professor, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Emory University School of Medicine
Rita Nahta, PhD
Assistant Professor, Department of Pharmacology, Emory University School of Medicine
David C. Pallas, PhD
Associate Professor, Department of Biochemistry, Emory University School of Medicine
Cheng-Kui Qu, MD, PhD
Professor, Department of Pediatrics, Emory University School of Medicine
Renee Read, PhD
Assistant Professor, Department of Pharmacology, Emory University School of Medicine
Khalid Salaita, PhD
Associate Professor, Department of Chemistry, Emory University
Alessandra C. Schmitt, MD
Assistant Professor, Department of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine, Emory University School of Medicine
Malathy Shanmugam, PhD, MS
Assistant Professor, Department of Hematology and Medical Oncology, Emory University School of Medicine
Hyunsuk Shim, PhD
Professor, Department of Radiology and Imaging Sciences, Emory University School of Medicine
Hui-Kuo Shu, MD, PhD
Associate Professor, Department of Radiation Oncology, Emory University School of Medicine
Shi-Yong Sun, PhD
Professor, Department of Hematology and Medical Oncology, Emory University School of Medicine
Erwin G. Van Meir, PhD
Leader, Cancer Cell Biology Research Program, and Director, Laboratory for Molecular Neuro-Oncology, Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University
Daqing Wu, PhD
Assistant Professor, Department of Urology, Emory University School of Medicine
Lily Yang, MD, PhD
Professor, Surgical Oncology Research and Radiology and Imaging Sciences, Emory University School of Medicine
Chang-Hyon Chris Yun, PhD
Associate Professor, Department of Medicine, Division of Digestive Diseases , Emory University School of Medicine
Muxiang Zhou , MD
Professor, Division of Hematology/Oncology, Department of Pediatrics, Emory University School of Medicine
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