Cancer Biology

The biology of cancer is studied at MIT at many levels and in many organisms, ranging from the discovery of genes implicated in the development of cancer in humans to the elucidation of basic cell biological processes that are affected during tumorigenesis, which can be studied using human cells as well as model organisms.

Genetic approaches are central to the efforts of many laboratories studying aspects of tumor development, including the cloning of human oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes, the generation of mutant mouse strains to study these and other cancer-associated genes, and the use of classical genetics to elucidate the components of growth control pathways in model organisms, such as Drosophila and C. elegans. These genetic approaches are complemented in the Department by biochemical and cell biological studies aimed at understanding the function of cancer genes; the details of proliferation, cell cycle and cell death pathways; the nature of cell-cell and cell-matrix interactions; and mechanisms of DNA repair, replication, transcription and chromosome stability.

Faculty with research programs in cancer biology: