Cancer cannot occur without multiple genetic changes. Among these changes are the addition of viral gene expression to the cell, as well as mutations to cellular genes, either sporadic or induced by environmental mutagens. These changes ultimately lead to an overall genetic instability that contributes to the formation and progression of the tumor.
This program includes investigators who study aspects of the human genome that naturally contribute to genetic instability; investigators who work on genes that play a primary role in maintaining or altering genomic stability; as well as those who study the mutagenesis process and the environmental contribution to mutagenesis. These studies are relevant to translational research both in the diagnostic arena and in the identification of targets for therapeutic intervention.