Researchers in the Perlmutter Cancer Center's Environmental & Molecular Carcinogenesis Program are exploring:
- Mechanisms of action by environmental carcinogens, investigating their effects on the structure and function of cellular macromolecules. Macromolecules of interest include DNA and proteins, particularly those involved with signaling, transcription control, and susceptibility to environmental agents. These studies are carried out in people, as well as in vivo and in vitro models.
- Inorganic compounds, such as arsenic, nickel, chromium, and iron. The molecular toxicological effects of metals and other agents are studied by examining their interactions with DNA and with proteins, which have structural, regulatory or enzymatic activities.
- The formation of reactive oxygen species, their biochemistry, and the biological effects that might result from their actions.
- Mutational specificity of carcinogens and site-specific mutagenesis of particular DNA lesions, the molecular basis for genetic susceptibility to environmental agents, the effects of hormones on gene expression and carcinogenesis, and chemoprevention.
- Epigenetic mechanisms of carcinogenesis.
- Antioxidants and the prevention of tumor formation, as well as new biomarkers for early detection of cancer.
- Epidemiological and molecular epidemiological approaches to cancer etiology.