Program Focus Areas
The GI Cancer Genetics Program is organized around three broad scientific Focus Areas:
- To elucidate the role of tumor suppressor genes and oncogenes in the genesis of human cancers
- To identify cancer susceptibility genes active in the human population and to develop new molecular assays for cancer risk assessment and for cancer early detection
- To develop new methods and model systems for the discovery of cancer causing genes, and to advance application of cancer genetics to clinical cancer care
These Focus Areas intersect with a specific disease emphasis on gastrointestinal cancers, particularly colon cancers and adenocarcinomas of the esophagus, but have also led to significant advances in understanding other tumors including human sarcomas, brain and breast tumors.
The leaders of the GI Cancer Genetics Program established an internationally recognized team science oriented program deciphering the genetic origins of cancers with a focus particularly in colon cancers and adenocarcinomas of the esophagus, but have also led to significant advances in understanding other tumors including human sarcomas.
The Program is supported by numerous multi-investigator grants, including a newly awarded GI SPORE, and program members have made multiple seminal observations and discoveries that include finding: causative genes for colon cancer, a molecular screening test for colon cancer, and alterations in histone methylation at target gene enhancers that acts as an epigenetic signature of colon cancer.
Stephen Fink, PhD
Assistant Professor, Medicine-Hematology and Oncology