The goal of the Molecular and Cellular Cancer Biology Program (MCCBP), a basic research program, is to gain new insight into the molecular and cellular basis of cancer development and progression that can eventually be translated into the development of novel biomarkers of progression and treatment regimens. MCCBP research activities fall under three central themes: 1) genome stability; 2) signal transduction; and 3) mitochondria and metabolism.
Specific aims of the MCCBP are to: 1) elucidate mechanisms of genome instability; 2) understand aberrant signal transduction in tumor cells; 3) investigate bioenergetic alterations and loss of apoptotic signaling in tumor cells; and 4) provide capacity building in support of the three research themes. Through collaboration and communication with other UPCI programs and translational disease-site groups, novel research findings by MCCBP investigators are translated into promising clinical applications, including the development of new targeted therapies and identification and validation of biomarkers. During the last funding cycle, the Program has lost 15 members but has added additional investigators and has grown by about 71% from 39 to 55 actively participating members, representing 17 departments and three schools at the University of Pittsburgh and one at Carnegie Mellon University. New members have been strategically added each year. Currently, MCCBP members receive over $9.8 M annually in direct funding, including $4.1 M from the NCI and $5.1 M in other peer-reviewed support. Between January 2010 and April 2014, MCCBP members have authored 771 cancer-related publications, of which 25% resulted from intra-programmatic and 38% from inter-programmatic collaborations. Approximately 42% of the papers represent collaborations with external investigators. The overall aim of the Program is to make fundamental discoveries in cancer biology in the key thematic areas. MCCBP leadership and members continue to achieve scientific impact through successful translation of pre-clinical research findings to clinical problems through strategic interactions with UPCI membership of other translational and clinical programs. UPCI support, including shared resources, specifically the Animal Facility, Biostatistics Facility, Cancer Bioinformatics Services, Cancer Genomics Facility, Cancer Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics Facility, Cancer Proteomics Facility, Cell and Tissue Imaging Facility, Chemical Biology Facility, Cytometry Facility, Immunological Monitoring and Cellular Products Laboratory, In Vivo Imaging Facility, and Tissue and Research Pathology Services facilitates and enhances MCCBP research.

Public Health Relevance

The mission of the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute (UPCI) is to reduce the burden of cancer in western Pennsylvania and the nation through research, patient care, education and outreach. Since its founding in 1985, UPCI has been at the forefront in discovery and advancement of scientific findings that have led to new strategies for preventing, detecting, diagnosing, and treating cancer, and for addressing the health-related needs and well-being of cancer patients and survivors.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Center Core Grants (P30)
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Subcommittee I - Transistion to Independence (NCI)
Program Officer
Marino, Michael A
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University of Pittsburgh
Internal Medicine/Medicine
Schools of Medicine
United States
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Li, Changfeng; Zhang, Ying; Cheng, Xing et al. (2018) PINK1 and PARK2 Suppress Pancreatic Tumorigenesis through Control of Mitochondrial Iron-Mediated Immunometabolism. Dev Cell 46:441-455.e8
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