Understanding the fundamental mechanisms of biology that impact cancer cells
From disease etiology to new approaches to treatment, the Molecular and Cellular Biology Department at Roswell Park studies the mechanisms governing cellular development, differentiation, and organismal homeostasis.
We explore the fundamental pathways that can transcend cancer type and yield broad impact.
What we do
Our research focuses on five key themes:
- Epigenetic pathways that contribute to cancer, the risk, disease progression, and therapeutic sensitivities
- The glycobiology of cell-cell interactions which are relevant to multiple features of tumor biology and interface with the microenvironment
- Regulatory control of cell proliferation, and means exploit genetic features of deregulated proliferation
- The interface of the tumor with the microenvironment in disease progression and therapeutic resistance.
- The intersection of tumor genetics with biological features of cancer
Ongoing studies transcend bench work carried out in a variety of clinically relevant cancer models, all the way to clinical trials, touching on major biological process of relevance to cancer.
Training the next generation of scientists
In addition to our research activities, the Department of Molecular & Cellular Biology 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.
Research interests: Cell cycle control in cancer as a therapeutic target; RB-tumor suppressor pathway in the progression of cancer; breast and pancreatic cancer genetics; defining rationally targeted therapeutic interventions for clinical use.
- Knudsen ES, Kumarasamy V, Chung S, Ruiz A, Vail P, Tzetzo S, Wu J, Nambiar R, Sivinski J, Chauhan SS, Seshadri M, Abrams SI, Wang J, Witkiewicz AK. Targeting dual signalling pathways in concert with immune checkpoints for the treatment of pancreatic cancer. Gut. 2021 Jan;70(1):127-138. doi: 10.1136/gutjnl-2020-321000. Epub 2020 May 18. PubMed PMID: 32424005; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC7671951.
- Knudsen ES, Shapiro GI, Keyomarsi K. Selective CDK4/6 Inhibitors: Biologic Outcomes, Determinants of Sensitivity, Mechanisms of Resistance, Combinatorial Approaches, and Pharmacodynamic Biomarkers. Am Soc Clin Oncol Educ Book. 2020 May;40:115-126. doi: 10.1200/EDBK_281085. Review. PubMed PMID: 32421454; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC7306922.
- Knudsen ES, Nambiar R, Rosario SR, Smiraglia DJ, Goodrich DW, Witkiewicz AK. Pan-cancer molecular analysis of the RB tumor suppressor pathway. Commun Biol. 2020 Apr 2;3(1):158. doi: 10.1038/s42003-020-0873-9. PubMed PMID: 32242058; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC7118159.
- Ambrosone CB, Higgins MJ. Relationships between Breast Feeding and Breast Cancer Subtypes: Lessons Learned from Studies in Humans and in Mice. Cancer Res. 2020 Nov 15;80(22):4871-4877. doi: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-20-0077. Epub 2020 Aug 14. Review. PubMed PMID: 32816853; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC7669594.
- Punch PR, Irons EE, Manhardt CT, Marathe H, Lau JTY. The sialyltransferase ST6GAL1 protects against radiation-induced gastrointestinal damage. Glycobiology. 2020 Jul 20;30(7):446-453. doi: 10.1093/glycob/cwz108. PubMed PMID: 31897489; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC7305799.