Research Programs


Tumor Biology Program

Program Leader(s): J. Alan Diehl, PhD and Anil Rustgi, MD

The Tumor Biology Program unifies investigators who seek to unravel the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying neoplasia with translation into new diagnostics and therapeutics. The Tumor Biology Program seeks to take an interdisciplinary approach to utilize in vitro and in vivo models (especially genetically engineered mouse models) to elucidate specific aspects of cancer genetics: oncogenes, tumor suppressor genes, DNA repair, RNA biology, signal transduction pathways, nuclear hormone receptors, transcriptional factors, cancer cell metabolism, structural biology and the tumor microenvironment. Comprising about 50 members across the schools, departments, Centers and Institutes of Penn, the Tumor Biology Program catalyzes joint laboratory meetings, working groups of basic scientists and clinicians, invited speakers in research seminars, journal clubs and special conferences, symposia and retreats. The Program also fosters innovative pilot grants and interdisciplinary grants, the latter to the NIH and non-NIH sources. Finally, in 2014, the Tumor Biology Program helped launch the inaugural Basic Science Center of Excellence (BCE) that focuses on cancer cell metabolism in a group of ACC investigators led by Dr. Ben Stanger.