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Cancer will become the leading cause of death within the next few years, as treatment for heart disease improves. Research into new treatments and methods of prevention, as well as exploration of new targets for therapy are critical for improving patient survival.

Research by the Department of Pharmacology faculty has already led to a new approved treatment for breast cancer. The development of other novel therapeutics, such as gene-delivery vectors, is currently in progress. Laboratory investigations involve a wide range of approaches, including chemistry, cell culture and animal models. Techniques include use of microarray technology, proteomics, enzyme crystallization, protein purification, recombinant gene transcription and other molecular biology techniques.

Our faculty are addressing the following questions relevant to understanding cancer:

  • What genetic changes occur in cancer?
  • How do chemotherapeutic drugs act at the molecular level?
  • What are the mechanisms used by hormones and other factors to regulate growth of cancer cells? How are these altered by selective inhibitors?
  • What roles do viruses play in cancer?