The Center for Cell Biology and Cancer Research (CCBCR) offers graduate and postdoctoral training programs based on a comprehensive approach to the study of the Cell Biology of Cancer. The Center's faculty is comprised of an interdisciplinary group of scientists with expertise in cell biology, molecular biology, biochemistry and physiology. This diversity is reflected in the combined use of cellular, molecular genetic and transgenic approaches to basic problems in cancer biology. Thus, graduate students and postdoctoral fellows are exposed to an interactive training environment focused on clarifying cell function in normal and disease states. The interdisciplinary nature of the Center's research programs facilitates the application of new findings not only to the field of cancer biology, but also to a variety of other diseases including atherosclerosis, arthritis and diabetes.
CANCER BIOLOGY AND TISSUE REMODELING
Research interests of CCBCR faculty are focused on determining how diverse signals transmitted by growth factors, cytokines and the extracellular matrix are integrated to regulate aspects of tumor biology including the control of cell growth and the regulation of tissue remodeling. The various model systems used by the Center researchers to address these questions include renal cell carcinoma, breast and prostate cancer, inflammation, tissue development and wound healing. This diversity of experimental systems, combined with the interdisciplinary approaches of individual CCBCR faculty research programs, promotes exceptional research strength in the following areas:
One aspect of research within the CCBCR addresses questions relating to how mammalian cells initiate, integrate and respond to signaling cascades that are activated by growth factors, cytokines, mechanochemical stimuli and the extracellular matrix. Investigators are exploiting both animal models and novel cell culture systems to define the structure-function relationships between receptors for these stimuli and linkages to intracellular signaling proteins. The work in several laboratories focuses on defining downstream targets of these signaling cascades to effect changes in gene expression that regulate cell growth, differentiation, adhesion and motility.
MECHANISMS OF CELL ADHESION AND MIGRATION
Faculty and students within the CCBCR use both in vivo and in vitro approaches to study interactions between cells and the extracellular matrix as they relate to tumor invasion, angiogenesis, endothelial barrier function, wound healing, leukocyte activation, and inflammation. Specific research areas include the regulation of cell adhesion and migration by integrins, organization and function of the cytoskeleton, proteolysis and remodeling of the extracellular matrix, and regulation of gene expression.
Albany Medical College