The UCLA Tumor Cell Biology Program features training at the doctoral and postdoctoral levels in hypothesis-driven and global screening-oriented research aimed at identifying features/markers of value in diagnosis, prognosis and treatment of cancer. The current trainee group includes fundamental biologists, mathematicians, and informaticists as well as clinical scientists and training activities that promote communication and collaboration between them. Technologies employed by project trainees include characterization of stem cells that are possible progenitors of tumors, global assessment of patient samples for gene expression, proteins and DMA methylation, creation of mouse models designed to recapitulate human cancer, and assessment of cellular features revealed by immunological or other staining methods in tissue microarrays. Trainees participate in a core survey course that presents a broad view of experimental and clinical cancer research, cancer diagnosis, prognosis, therapy and prevention. A new required course on cancer systems biology will focus on genomic, proteomic and epigenetic technologies and methods of analysis for extracting relevant and clinically useful features from large and/or diverse data sets obtained from patient and control populations. Trainees are required to complete a course on ethics and accountability in research, participate in a monthly seminar featuring trainee presentations, and attend the weekly cancer research conference sponsored by the Cancer Center. Trainees have access to a biotechnology course taught jointly in the College and in the Business School that offers an integrated view of business and technology in translational research. Among studies that are relevant to the public health, program scientists have i) employed gene expression analysis to reveal signatures that separate patients responding to a therapy from those who do not and identify signatures that predict a patients susceptibility to small molecular drugs acting on specific signal transduction sites, ii) proteome-wide screening to identify panels of features that may offer earlier and improved diagnosis of prostate cancer, and iii) demonstrated histone-modifications in tissue microarrays that separate prostate cancer patients into groups that are more vs. less susceptible to clinical recurrence.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Institutional National Research Service Award (T32)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZCA1-RTRB-A (M1))
Program Officer
Lim, Susan E
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University of California Los Angeles
Schools of Medicine
Los Angeles
United States
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