Salk Cancer Center


Salk Institute for Biological Studies - Salk Cancer Center - Research

Research Programs

The NCI Cancer Center is comprised of two programs:

Program 1: Genome Stability, Epigenetics & Aging in Cancer

Program 1 (Genome Stability, Epigenetics & Aging in Cancer; GEA) studies the fundamental transformation that normal cells undergo during the process of tumor initiation and progression, starting with genetic driver mutations, transcriptional and epigenetic reprogramming of growth control and cell fate pathways, and cellular heterogeneities (e.g., altered epigenetic states and gene expression) that drive age-related tumorigenesis. The goals of the GEA program are represented in the following broad Specific Aims:

  1. Understanding genomic stability and epigenetic rewiring of transcription in tumorigenesis
  2. Examining the contribution of genome stability, stress signaling and aging to tumorigenesis and therapeutic response
  3. Investigating cancer initiation and heterogeneity

The program includes sixteen (16) members:

Program 2: Tumor Immunology, Metabolism & Therapeutics

The overall goal of the Tumor Immunology, Metabolism & Therapeutics (IMT) Program is to develop and utilize advanced autochthonous mouse models to study distinct facets of tumor biology in its native environment, and to combine the development and application of novel therapeutic approaches to different model systems. One of the specific research topics of strength is in the area of tumor metabolism, and the unique biology it imparts on distinct tumors, which may be harnessed for diagnostics and therapeutic windows. The goals of these studies are represented in the following broad Specific Aims:

  1. Understanding metabolic rewiring in distinct tumor types with distinct driver mutations and developing novel metabolism- based diagnostics and therapeutics.
  2. Developing new animal models that allow exploration of complex tumor biology in vivo: roles of tissue context, stem cell populations, and differentiation.
  3. Development of novel therapeutic approaches using small molecule and biological- and viral-based methodologies.

The program includes sixteen (16) members: