Understanding how cells transform into cancer

The Department of Cancer Genetics & Genomics at Roswell Park studies the role of individual genes – as well as large sets of genes (genomics) – in cancer. We know that cancer is fundamentally a disease caused by multiple genetic alterations, but it also involves large-scale ‘re-programming’ of many genes (epigenomics).

Meet our chair

“My interest in science started when I was a kid,” recalls Dr. Ohm. “By the time I was doing my postdoctoral work, I was immersed in looking at how genes are regulated and passed down genetically. Cancer epigenetics is a hot spot, and we’re starting to see epigenetic therapies really moving forward, with Roswell Park emerging as a global leader in combining epigenetics therapy with immunotherapy.”

“Over time, I’ve come to learn that even the studies I thought were horrible failures ended up being important and shaped the next steps towards progress and success.”

Roswell Park 2022 Big Game Commercial | "My Why"

In Roswell Park's 2022 Big Game Commercial, Dr. Ohm shares her moving story about the reason why she's dedicated to achieving Roswell Park's vision to free our world from the fear, pain, and loss due to cancer.

What we do

As we understand the genes and pathways that contribute to tumorigenesis, we hope to identify novel targets for therapeutic intervention and provide biomarkers for the better diagnosis, staging and risk assessment for individual cancer patients.

  • Identify and isolate novel genes that are important in the development of specific cancers, and characterize the mechanism of action of the protein products of these aberrant genes.
  • Apply our knowledge of human oncogenes to aid in the clinical management of cancer patients.
  • Investigate epigenetic mechanisms that drive the development of cancer.
  • Use genomic approaches to discover cancer-causing genes, understand the response to therapies (including immunotherapy) and identify new targets for therapy.

A better understanding of mechanisms involved in tumorigenesis will provide the opportunity to manipulate these pathways in animal models and also will contribute to a fundamental understanding of cancer and potentially generate the opportunity to test new treatment regimens in vivo.

Upcoming seminars

January 26: Lizhong Wang, MD PhD, University of Alabama at Birmingham
11 a.m. - 12 p.m. Zebro Conference Room, Center for Genetics & Pharmacology, Roswell park Comprehensive Cancer Center

For more information, please contact Taylor.Petroff@RoswellPark.org.

Edwin Yau, MD, PhD

Spotlight: Edwin Yau, MD, PhD

Dr. Yau's lab is interested in translational studies for patients with lung cancers, particularly KRAS and STK11 mutated genomic subsets of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), using immunogenomic analysis and functional genomic screening. Ongoing projects include the development of early detection assays using collateral CRISPR systems and development of novel therapeutics for genomic subsets of NSCLC and Lung SCC.

Meet Dr. Yau

Shared Resources

Gene Targeting and Transgenic

Gene Targeting and Transgenic

State-of-the-art transgenic technologies, methods, and models

Learn more
Scientist filling a test tube

Genomics

Next generation sequencing, microarray, and validation technologies

Learn more
Image
Scientists looking at data in a lab

Gene Modulation Services

Supporting investigators interested in modulating gene expression

Learn more

Training the next generation of scientists

In addition to our research and community outreach, the Department of Cancer Genetics & Genomics is actively involved in hands-on teaching with Master’s and PhD students in our highly competitive graduate studies program.

Our multidisciplinary education model allows students a unique immersive experience, preparing them for successful careers as independent investigators. 

Publications

Image
Dae-Kyum Kim, PhD

Highlight

Dae-Kyum Kim, PhD, was published in Nature Biotechnology on molecular interactions related to COVID-19 and how genetic differences may cause us to respond to the SARS-CoV-2 virus differently. “We are excited to know that our work may pave the way to new treatment and intervention strategies for COVID-19 and other viral infections,” says Dr. Kim.

See the science

Contact us

Jamie Genovese headshot
Jamie Genovese
Department Administrator
Phone: 716-845-8654
Fax: 716-845-1698
Email: Jamie.Genovese@RoswellPark.org
Taylor Petroff headshot
Taylor Petroff
Administrative Assistant
Phone: 716-845-1219 
Fax: 716-845-1698
Email: Taylor.Petroff@RoswellPark.org
Image
Allie Valentine, BS, CCRC
Allie Valentine
Scientific Research Project Specialist
Phone: 716-845-8233
Fax: 716-845-1698
Email: Alexandra.Valentine@RoswellPark.org