Evan C. Lien, PhD

Dr. Lien is studying how diet and nutrition impact cancer cell metabolism and tumor progression. The way cancer cells utilize nutrients to support their growth and proliferation is determined not only by cancer-promoting genetic alterations, but also by the tumor’s interactions with its local environment. Diet-mediated changes in whole-body metabolism and nutrient availability are an important part of a tumor’s metabolic environment, and a better understanding of how diet modulates nutrient availability and utilization by cancer cells is needed.

Alexander Jaeger, PhD

Dr. Jaeger is investigating how a protein called the Heat Shock Transcription Factor 1 (HSF1), a potent pro-survival transcription factor, orchestrates changes in the three-dimensional architecture of chromosomes to activate tumor supportive gene expression programs in diverse cancer types. Increasing evidence suggests that the three dimensional architecture of chromosomes can influence the unique gene expression programs that support tumor growth. He aims to determine how gene expression is significantly altered in cancer cells when compared to normal cells.