Nuclear Control of Cell Growth and Differentiation

NC Membership Directory

nuclear research program

The Nuclear Control of Cell Growth and Differentiation (NC) Program is a basic science program that aims to provide important new understanding of the nuclear processes that go awry in cancer cells. Members combine discovery science and preclinical models to dissect nuclear mechanisms controlling cell growth and differentiation.

The research of program members centers on three scientific themes:

  • Gene Regulation: Gene Networks, Epigenetics, and RNA Processing—understanding gene regulation mechanisms of importance to oncogenesis at the transcriptional and post-transcriptional level in normal and cancer cells, with a focus on chromatin, epigenetics, and transcription factor networks.
  • Cancer Metabolism: Gene Networks and Metabolic Regulation—unraveling the interplay between metabolic derangements, chromatin misregulation, and transcriptional changes in cancer cells. 
  • Genomic Stability: DNA Damage and Repair— investigating the mechanisms that maintain genome stability and their dysregulation and impact on cancer.

Program Reports

2015 report

NC Program Newsletters

NC 2017 Fall Newsletter
NC 2016 Fall Newsletter

NC 2015 Fall Newsletter

Previous newsletters are available upon request

Major Program achievements include a new understanding of oncogenic fusion proteins in sarcoma, mechanisms underlying epigenetic regulation in development and cancer, new genes and mechanisms underlying metabolic aberrations in cancer, new insights into DNA repair mechanisms, and success in basic-to-clinical translation of discoveries in sarcoma, colon, and breast cancer.

The NC program is co-led by Brad Cairns, PhD, and Jared Rutter, PhD, and facilitates individual and cooperative research projects of representatives from many academic units on campus. It provides forums to encourage the translation of these basic research projects into cancer-focused investigations through coordination with disease-based programs of the Cancer Center Support Grant.

The Nuclear Control of Cell Growth and Differentiation Program received $13.1 million in total research support from the National Institutes of Health, the American Cancer Society, the National Science Foundation, and other funding agencies in 2013, with 26% coming from the National Cancer Institute. Cancer-focused articles published between 2009-2013 total 305, of which 18% are inter-programmatic and 19% are intra-programmatic publications.

Brad Cairns, PhD

Jared Rutter, PhD

cairns bio rutter bio

NC Membership Directory


Name E-mail Research Interests Website
Don AyerAyer, Donald e-mail Transcription regulation, nuclear oncogenes website
Brenda BassBass, Brenda e-mail

Double-stranded RNA (dsRNA); RNA editing by adenosine deaminases that act on RNA (ADARs); RNA interference (RNAi).

BkaskaraBhaskara, Srividya e-mail

Investigation of mammalian histone deacetylases and their inhibition as a therapeutic strategy for cancers.

Buck-Koehntop, BethanyBethany Koehntop Buck e-mail

Epigenetic mechanisms for transcriptional regulation in cancer

BurrowsBurrows, Cynthia e-mail

Chemistry and biochemistry of DNA damage.

CairnsCairns, Bradley e-mail

Chromatin remodeling transcription; DNA methylation.

CapeechiCapecchi, Mario e-mail

Mammalian development; genetic recombination.

Carroll, DanaCarroll e-mail Gene targeting
Cazalla, DemianDemian Cazalla e-mail

Functions of non-coding RNAs of viral or cellular origin that regulate gene expression.

Chandrasekharan, MaheshChandrasekharan e-mail

Regulation and function of histone modifications in gene transcription and genome stability maintenance pathways.

EngelEngel, Michael e-mail

Molecular pathogenesis of acute leukemias and the perturbations of regulatory relationships that govern normal hematopoiesis.

FormosaFormosa, Timothy e-mail DNA replication in yeast
Gertz, JasonGertz e-mail

Understanding how gene regulation is impacted during cancer progression.

Golic, KentGolic e-mail Drosophila genetics; chromosome structure and function
Graves, BarbaraGraves e-mail

DNA-protein interactions; eukaryotic transcriptional regulation.

Grunwald, DavidGrunwald e-mail Cell differentiation in the zebrafish
Hill, ChristopherHill e-mail

The structure and mechanisms of proteins that function in proteasome activation; nucleosome remodeling and reorganization

Huang, EricHuang e-mail

Tumor hypoxia and molecular mechanisms underlying tumorigenesis and progression.

Jones, Kevin B.Kevin Jones e-mail

Mesenchymal transformation; sarcoma progression.

Leibold, ElizabethLeibold e-mail Gene regulation by stress
Miles, RodneyMiles e-mail

Role of gene copy number changes in the biology; prognosis of pediatric lymphoblastic leukemia and Burkitt lymphoma.

O'O'ConnellConnell, Ryan e-mail

Investigating the roles of noncoding RNAs in leukemia and tumor immunity.

Prchal, JosefPrchal e-mail

Germ line and somatic mutations leading to myeloproliferative disorders.

RutterRutter, Jared e-mail Metabolic signaling website
Schiffman, JoshuaSchiffman e-mail

Pediatric hereditary cancer syndromes with a special interest in genetic susceptibility to childhood cancers.

Snyder, EricEric Snyder e-mail

How changes in cellular identity affect cancer progression and response to therapy.

Summers, Scottscott-summers.jpg e-mail

Mechanisms through which lipid metabolism disrupts tissue function

Swaminathan, SankarSwaminathan e-mail

Post-transcriptional gene regulation in herpes viruses; RNA export.

Tantin, DeanTantin e-mail Mammalian gene regulation in cancer
Thummel, CarlThumel e-mail Gene expression; steroid hormone action
Varley, KatherineVarley e-mail

Characterizing the transcriptional defects in breast cancer that are associated with treatment response and disease progression.

Winge, DennisWinge e-mail

Elucidate the molecular pathway for the biogenesis and regulation of succinate dehydrogenase.