Molecular and Cellular Oncology (MCO) Research Program

If you would like to be added to the mailing list for the MCO Program and receive meeting dates and times, please contact MCO program leaders Dr. Tianyan GaoDr. Peter Zhou, and Dr. Rina Plattner.

The goal of the MCO Research Program is to reduce the burden of cancer in Kentucky and the nation by focusing on the unique area of cancer research that integrates signal transduction mechanisms with genetic, epigenetic and metabolic regulation of cancer development and therapeutic resistance.

The MCO has three interrelated themes:

  1. Research aberrant signaling networks within tumor cells and their interactions with the microenvironment to delineate molecular mechanisms that drive tumor initiation, progression and metastasis
  2. Research the cross-talk between epigenetic and metabolic mechanisms of malignancy to define how obesity, aging and environmental factors contribute to carcinogenesis and therapeutic responses
  3. Research mitochondrial redox regulation and maintenance of genomic stability to decipher how dysregulations of DNA repair and redox-mediated pathways contribute to tumorigenesis and normal tissue responses to anticancer therapies.

Program Leadership

Monthly Meetings

The MCO Program’s monthly meetings are used to discuss research and funding opportunities and to develop plans for grant applications. In addition, the program hosts and annual retreat for its program members.

Interest Groups

MCO members participate in a variety of discussion groups that span the cancer center’s interest and include members from multiple research programs. In particular, MCO members are instrumental members of: a multi-university DNA repair interest group, the cancer center’s lung cancer translational group, and the cancer center’s Molecular Tumor Board.

Markey Cancer Center is NCI-designated

The UK Markey Cancer Center was first designated by the National Cancer Institute in 2013 – a distinction that recognizes our extraordinary ability to provide world-class care for our patients. We are the only NCI-designated cancer center in Kentucky and one of only 71 in the nation.