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The main objective of the Cancer Biology Major is to provide students with both comprehensive basic training to be successful in their chosen field and career path as well as detailed theoretical and hands-on cancer biology training to become impactful cancer researchers. The majority of our graduates have applied their training as post-doctoral fellows in Universities/Institutes and in a variety of pharmaceutical/biotechnology industries, in addition to fields of science education, medical writing, and public policy. Cancer Biology Major students will receive interdisciplinary training in cutting edge areas of cancer research through coursework and immersion in the Moffitt Cancer Center’s research endeavors. Students will train alongside individuals studying other areas of cancer biology, providing a broad base of understanding of cancer and increasing the potential for interdisciplinary research. Graduates of this major will be positioned to enter the workforce ready to discover and implement the latest advances in cancer biology that in turn will significantly improve the lives of cancer patients. 

The study of cancer biology has led to major advances in our understanding of the intrinsic and extrinsic molecular and cellular mechanisms that drive the disease leading to the advent of effective targeted therapies. Students in the Cancer Biology program will have the opportunity to conduct innovative research in a variety of cutting edge areas such as genetics, RNA biology (miRNA, lncRNA), signaling transduction pathways (proteomics, activity based protein profiling), cancer cell heterogeneity, metabolism, microenvironmental studies (immunology, extracellular matrix biology, pH, angiogenesis, cancer associated fibroblast, angiogenesis), imaging of cancer progression, and cancer metastasis (epithelial to mesenchymal transition-EMT, migration, invasion, colonization, dormancy and establishment).  Importantly, the Moffitt Cancer Center has over 15 core resources with state of the art technology that is available to students as they pursue their individual research project goals.  Students in the Cancer Biology Major will get to work with basic, translational and clinical researchers providing them with a comprehensive knowledge of how basic science discoveries can be translated to the clinical setting, knowledge that can be leveraged as they pursue their chosen career paths.  

Research drives discoveries in cancer biology through in vitro and in vivo basic/translational studies in the following areas:

  • Genetics/epigenetics underlying cancer evolution and heterogeneity
  • RNA control of oncogenic and tumor suppressor programs
  • Rewiring of cancer cell intrinsic pathways (signal transduction, metabolism, post-translational modification)
  • Tumor Microenvironment (immunology, angiogenesis, fibroblast response, pH)
  • Cancer progression and metastasis (migration, invasion, seeding, dormancy, establishment)

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