Hallmarks of Cancer
The Hallmarks of Cancer research program focuses on fundamental laboratory-based research to better understand the cell intrinsic factors that drive cancer development and progression. Researchers are studying genetic and epigenetic drivers of transcriptional variation and its role in cancer cell plasticity; how the process of aging exposes new cellular vulnerabilities to promote cancer development; and how oncogenic signals converge to drive metabolic and oxidative reprogramming, revealing new avenues for intervention.
The program strives to exploit novel findings toward clinical translation through the development of new preclinical models, identification of novel biomarkers, and by interacting with Wilmot’s disease working groups to inform early-phase drug development and new clinical trials.
The program has three specific aims:
- To understand the mechanisms by which altered transcriptional and post-transcriptional control contributes to aberrant cancer cell programming;
- To elucidate the role that cell state transitions, plasticity, and aging play in cancer development and therapeutic resistance;
- To identify and exploit vulnerabilities brought about by oxidative stress and metabolic re-programming
Paula Vertino, Ph.D., Wilmot Distinguished Professor in Cancer Genomics and professor, Biomedical Genetics.
Dr. Vertino’s interests are focused on cancer epigenetics and novel mechanisms of gene silencing in cancer.
Aram Hezel, M.D., John and Ethel Heselden Professor of Medicine and Chief, Hematology/Oncology at the Wilmot Cancer Institute.
Dr. Hezel’s interests include clinical trials with new therapies for gastrointestinal cancers and understanding the genetic and biology of pancreatic and liver cancer.