UChicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center


Program Leaders: Barbara Kee, PhD, and Scott Oakes, MD
Assistant Program Leader: Alex Muir, PhD

The Molecular Mechanisms of Cancer Program focuses on determining the basic cell signaling and gene expression mechanisms that underlie malignancy. The program brings together basic and translational investigators from 13 departments with a wealth of experience in cancer biology, chemistry, cell signaling, systems biology, developmental biology, and drug discovery.

Key Research Themes

  • Uncover how gene expression is controlled through context-specific regulation and epigenetics (DNA and protein modifications that change gene expression without altering DNA sequence)
  • Determine the cellular mechanisms underlying altered cell growth, including proliferation, death and metabolism
  • Understand the multifaceted mechanisms leading to cancer metastases or spread to distant sites