How do you fight cancer? Succinctly described as a “many-headed monster, which, each time a neck is severed, sprouts a head even fiercer and cleverer than before. You are fighting that which is unfixed, mutating, indestructible.”1 With the advent of new technologies that allow us to resolve cancer down to individual cells, we are beginning to appreciate the heterogeneity of cancer that facilitates the ever-changing interactions between cancer cells, their niche, and the surrounding environment. Our hope is that cancer is not indestructible and the scientists in the Cancer and Cell Biology (CCB) Focus Area In CMB actively investigate ways to stop cancer by exploring all aspects of cancer initiation and progression, early detection, environmental causes, and response to therapies baked in-house and abroad.

Backed by the National Cancer Institute-designated UCI Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center and the UCI Cancer Research Institute, the CCB Focus Group provides an abundance of resources to gain expertise in many areas of cancer research and a forum to share our research with the community. With access to scientists and clinicians from more than 32 departments across six schools at UCI, many opportunities exist for interactive and collaborative research in cancer discovery, clinical investigation, and population-based cancer research.

Featured Videos

Selma Masri
Biological Chemistry
Circadian Clock disruption and its links to cancer, stem cell biology and metabolism

Nicholas Pannunzio
Biological Chemistry
Understanding how internal and external sources of DNA damage lead to oncogenic genome rearrangements in B cell malignancies

Olga Razorenova
Molecular Biology & Biochemistry
Internal (oncogenes/tumor suppressor genes) and external (tumor microenvironment) factors regulating tumor progression and metastasis.


Faculty – Secondary Affiliation

  • Bruce Blumbergblumberg@uci.edu, Developmental and Cell Biology
    Gene regulation by nuclear hormone receptors in vertebrate development & adult physiology Epigenomic analysis of gene-environment interactions
  • Dae Seok Eomdseom@uci.edu, Developmental & Cell Biology
    Intercellular signaling in stem cells and tissue remodeling
  • Steven A. Goldsteinsgoldst2@uci.edu, Physiology & Biophysics
    Ion channels in health and disease
  • Shane Gonengonens@uci.edu, Molecular Biology & Biochemistry
    Electron cryo-microscopy (Cryo-EM); Membrane proteins; Protein complexes; Computational protein design
  • Klemens Hertel, khertel@uci.edu, Microbiology & Molecular Genetics
    Regulation of gene expression by alternative splicing
  • Lan Huanglanhuang@uci.edu, Physiology & Biophysics and Developmental & Cell Biology
    Proteomics analysis using mass spectrometry and bioinformatics to elucidate protein structure and function, with initial emphasis on the 26S proteasome functional specificity
  • Wei Ling Lauwllau@uci.edu, Physiology & Biophysics
    Vascular calcification, cerebral microbleeds, and chronic inflammation in chronic kidney disease
  • Chang Liuccl@uci.edu, Biomedical Engineering, Chemistry, and Molecular Biology & Biochemistry
    Engineered genetic systems for rapid evolution, chemical biology, synthetic biology, and cell biology
  • Melissa Lodoenmlodoen@uci.edu, Molecular Biology & Biochemistry
    Innate immunity, host-microbe interactions, and immune evasion by Toxoplasma gondii
  • Francesco Marangonifmarango@uci.edu,  Physiology & Biophysics
    Identify immune regulatory mechanisms within tumors using functional intravital microscopy (F-IVM), and to counteract them to improve the efficacy of immunotherapies
  • Reginald “Reggie” McNultyrmcnulty@uci.edu, Molecular Biology & Biochemistry
    Macromolecular assemblies in inflammation and cancer using Cryo-EM and other approaches
  • Naomi Morrissettenmorrriss@uci.edu, Molecular Biology & Biochemistry
    Genetic, cell biological and structure-function studies of tubulin and microbutules in Apicomplexan parasites
  • Jennifer Prescherjpresche@uci.edu, Chemistry, Molecular Biology & Biochemistry, and Pharmaceutical Sciences
    Probing biological systems with chemical tools and noninvasive imaging
  • Sha Sunshasun@uci.edu, Developmental & Cell Biology
    Long noncoding RNAs in epigenetic programming
  • Ming Tanmingt@uci.edu, Microbiology & Molecular Genetics, and Medicine
    Chlamydia infections: Gene regulation and host pathogen interactions
  • Katherine L Thompson-Peerktpeer@uci.edu, Developmental & Cell Biology
    Neuronal regeneration after injury; dendrite regeneration
  • Roberto Tinocortinoco@uci.edu, Molecular Biology & Biochemistry
    Adaptive Immune Responses; cellular and molecular mechanisms that promote T cell exhaustion during chronic viral infection and cancer
  • Francesco Tombola, ftombola@uci.edu, Physiology and Biophysics
    Molecular mechanisms of voltage-gated ion channel function
  • Lisa Wagar lwagar@hs.uci.edu , Physiology & Biophysics How microenvironments within lymphoid tissues regulate the adaptive immune response to infectious diseases and vaccines
  • Gregory A. Weissgweiss@uci.edu,  Chemistry and Molecular Biology & Biochemistry and Pharmaceutical Sciences
    Evolving viruses for early cancer detection sensors
  • Qin Yangqiny3@uci.edu, Medicine and Physiology & Biophysics
    Cellular and molecular mechanisms for insulin resistance and energy expenditure in obesity and type 2 diabetes
  • Kyoko Yokomorikyokomor@uci.edu, Biological Chemistry
    Molecular mechanisms of chromosome dynamics and gene regulation