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Molecular Basis of Cancer

Several MMG research groups are investigating the molecular etiology of cancer induced by tumor viruses as well as the alterations in signaling pathways associated with oncogenic transformation. Specific projects are focused on the role of microRNAs in HPV-associated cervical cancer, the KSHV and MCV human tumor viruses, and protein-tyrosine kinases as molecular targets for cancer therapy.

Dr. Bernstein
Kara A. Bernstein
Associate Professor
Dr. SJ Gao
Shou-Jiang (SJ) Gao
Dr. Khan
Saleem A. Khan
Dr. Moore
Patrick S. Moore
Distinguished Professor
Dr. Zhaoxia Qu
Zhaoxia (Julia) Qu
Research Assistant Professor
Dr. Kathy H.Y. Shair
Kathy H.Y. Shair
Assistant Professor
Dr. Smithgall
Thomas E. Smithgall
William S. McEllroy Professor and Chair
Gary Thomas
Dr. Xiao
Gutian Xiao

Associated Labs

Bernstein Lab 

Repair of DNA damage is crucial to prevent accumulation of mutations that can cause human disease, such as cancer. Our lab studies how double-strand breaks in the DNA, one of the most lethal types of DNA lesions, are repaired. Learn more>

Khan Lab 

We are involved in three main areas of research. The first one deals with the role of microRNAs in human papillomavirus-associated cervical and oral cancers as well as role of miRNAs in aging. The second area deals with the cellular functions and mechanism of action of the PcrA helicase which is specifically found in Gram-positive bacteria. The third area of our interest deals with a molecular analysis of the role of the RepX protein in the replication and segregation of the anthrax toxin-encoding pXO1 plasmid in Bacillus anthracis. Learn more>

Moore Lab

We study 1) Kaposi’s sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV), the viral cause of Kaposi’s sarcoma, 2)  Merkel  cell  polyomavirus  (MCV), the viral cause of Merkel cell carcinoma and 3) methods to search for undiscovered human tumor viruses.  Learn more>

Shair Lab

The Shair lab studies the molecular mechanisms of cancer induced by this latent virus with the purpose of defining how these mechanisms contribute to the oncogenic and metastatic properties of EBV-associated diseases. Learn more>

Smithgall Lab

This laboratory research is focused on non-receptor protein-tyrosine kinase structure, function, and inhibitor discovery. Interest lies specifically in the Src, Abl and Fes kinase families, which were originally discovered in the context of avian transforming retrovirus many years ago. Learn more>

Thomas Lab

Our research program focuses on signaling pathways that integrate membrane traffic with the regulation of homeostasis and the onset of disease. These studies were grounded by our identification of the proprotein convertase furin, which is the first member of a family of secretory pathway-localized endoproteases that catalyze the activation of bioactive proteins and peptide hormones. Learn more>

Xiao-Qu Lab

Our primary research interests include the study of signaling transduction pathways in immunity and tumorigenesis, particularly NF-kB, as well as the molecular mechanisms underlying the type-1 human T cell leukemia virus (HTLV-I) mediated T cell transformation for disease prevention and therapeutic purposes. Learn more>

Associated Publications

Why do viruses cause cancer? Highlights of the first century of human tumour virology. Nat Rev Cancer. 10: 878-889. | View Abstract
Fu, J; Qu, Z; Yan, P; Ishikawa, C; Aqeilan, R. I; Rabson, A. B; and Xiao, G. (2011) The tumor suppressor gene WWOX links the canonical and noncanonical NF-κB pathways in HTLV-I Tax-mediated tumorigenesis. Blood. 117: 1652-1661. | View Abstract