The Cancer and Stem Cell Biology (CSCB) Program Area was established in 2010, in response to increasing evidence that the concepts and tools of stem cell biology can be used to gain new insights into cancer biology, and to take advantage of the tremendous expansion and productivity of the stem cell research community at UCLA. The primary goal of the CSCB Program Area is to link basic and translational investigators interested in the unique biological processes shared by malignancy and stem cells. The fundamental biology that characterizes these two fields can be viewed as the control of the opposing processes of self-renewal and differentiation. The balance of these processes is, in turn, determined by cell intrinsic and micro-environmental cues. These common mechanisms are studied by CSCB investigators using normal stem cells and their malignant counterparts from two experimental platforms: Hematopoiesis and Epithelium. Similarly, clinical research projects in CSCB focus predominantly on hematologic and genitourinary malignancies. Scientific interactions between the two platforms are driven by three main integrating themes that are relevant to the study of malignancy and stem cell biology irrespective of the specific tissue/cell source: 1) the regulation of growth and differentiation in tissue-specific stem cells during malignant transformation and normal development;2) the role of microenvironment in tumor formation and stem cell regulation;3) the use of pluripotent stem cells as a model to study basic mechanisms of self-renewal and transformation. The CSCB Program Area is comprised of 31 members, representing three schools and twelve departments;six members are

Public Health Relevance

The CSCB Program Area is structured to optimize multidisciplinary investigations in the broad areas of cancer and stem cell biology. By linking basic and translational investigators interested in these complementary fields, novel mechanisms involved in malignancy are uncovered and previously untapped targets for therapeutic development are revealed. The intellectual wealth of stem cell biology research at UCLA combined with the extensive interactions of physicians and scientists within the CSCB Program Area provide a highly productive and collaborative environment for basic and translational research.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Center Core Grants (P30)
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Subcommittee G - Education (NCI)
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University of California Los Angeles
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