University of Nebraska Medical Center

Cancer Research Areas

Despite impressive progress during the past 30 years, cancer remains one of the most complex and challenging problems of biomedical research. For this reason, cancer research is a key component of the Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Biomedical Sciences. Cancer researchers at UNMC are engaged in work that addresses the root causes of cancer, as well as the means of enhancing the detection and treatment of cancer. This research employs a wide range of animal and cellular model systems, includes both basic and translational research, and focuses heavily on the molecular basis of cancer.

Research Interests

Areas of particular strength include focus groups working on cancers of the prostate, breast, pancreas and blood. Cancer research at UNMC is recognized and supported by the National Cancer Institute.

Causes of Cancer

This area of research includes evaluation of the genetic, environmental and nutritional factors that contribute to cancer incidence as well as cancer prevention. Research efforts related to this area of inquiry include:

  • Functional genomics
  • DNA damage and repair
  • Environmental risk factors
  • Cancer genetics
  • Animal models of cancer

Molecular and Cellular Ramifications of Cancer

This research is focused on the differences in molecules and cells that define cancer. The following avenues are taken in research at the molecular level:

  • Gene expression
  • Signal transduction
  • Structural biochemistry

Diagnostics and Therapeutics

State-of-the-art technology couples with cutting-edge cancer research at UNMC to identify new ways of diagnosing and treating cancer. Several research innovations are used, including:

  • High-throughput screening for novel anti-tumor drugs
  • Analysis of unique clinical cancer resources
  • Identification of new cancer biomarkers
  • Immunotherapy

Courses and Other Education Opportunities

  • Special topic courses on grant writing and on seminar presentation skills
  • Translational cancer research
  • Attendance at discussions of cancer cases by oncologists
  • Participation in interdisciplinary clinical/basic cancer research groups