Fen Wang, Ph.D.
The purpose of the Center is to contribute to basic knowledge about the molecular, genetic and cellular basis of cancer and diverse human diseases through the study of cancer and stem cells. This knowledge is essential for prevention and treatment of human diseases.
Six research groups led by Texas A&M faculty in the Center for Cancer & Stem Cell Biology seek to discover and understand the structure-function relationships and mechanisms of action of key gene products which regulate normal cell, cancer cell and stem cell growth, differentiation and function in health and disease. Dysfunction of expression and activity of these regulatory genes and their products is a hallmark of cancer, developmental birth defects, the failure to respond to injury as in burns and neurotrauma and revealed most recently in control of the array of destructive metabolic abnormalities called metabolic syndrome that is associated with the obesity epidemic in developed countries. Research programs in the center led by Texas A&M faculty principal investigators focus their studies around signal transduction networks at the cell membrane, intracellular and nuclear levels. These networks underlie how cells and organs communicate with each other to maintain a healthy organism and defects in them underlie disease. Research group themes include membrane to nuclear signaling networks, embryonic development, cytokine family signaling and tumor suppressors, stem cell biology and neuro-regeneration, and tyrosine kinase family signaling networks. Research groups combine modern methods in protein biochemistry, molecular biology, immunology, cell and organ culture, genomics and proteomics in a variety of model biological systems from single cells to small animals. The knowledge is used to design ways to promote normal growth and differentiation in development, restoration of damaged adult organs and to stop abnormal cell growth and restore a normal pattern of cell differentiation in cancer.