Chair MURAKAMI Yoshinori
Formation and development of cancer is a multi-step process that involves alteration of structure and function of various genes, including those involved in regulation of cell growth, differentiation, and cell-cell and cell-extracellular matrix interaction. In the Department of Cancer Biology, we aim to clarify the entire picture of tumor formation and development based on these gene products. To do so we apply various multidisciplined approaches in addition to molecular and cellular biological techniques and mouse genetics, such as proteomics, molecular imaging, structural biology, physical chemistry and mathematical sciences. Our goal is to understand the molecular bases of cell growth and differentiation, tumor invasion, metastasis, and angiogenesis, mechanisms of malignant transformation by tumor viruses, and pathogenic mechanisms in human cancer. Needless to say, the findings of our research should be the subjects of translational research. Ongoing research investigations are as follows. Division of Molecular Pathology: 1) Molecular analysis of cancer progression by aberrant cell adhesion and its application to diagnosis and treatment of cancer. 2) Genomic, epigenomic and molecular pathological analyses of lung, bile-duct and other solid tumors and adult T-cell leukemia. Division of Genetics: 1) Studies on molecular signals that regulate a variety of cellular activities, aiming to address how deregulated cellular signals cause neoplastic or other intractable disorders. 2) Pathophysiological analyses of animal models for the above-mentioned diseases, aiming to develop new therapeutic approaches. Division of Cancer Cell Biology: 1) Elucidation of in vivo anticancer mechanisms and development of innovative cancer therapies. 2) Molecular basis underlying DNA methylation abnormalities in early stages of carcinogenesis. In addition to the research activities described above, our department often organizes seminars to facilitate the interaction among the laboratories and annually holds the meeting called “G2 retreat”, in which young scientists present their own research in English for training.