Research Programs

The HCRI program structure fosters multi-disciplinary cancer research by promoting interactions among research groups with distinct expertise and by training early career scientists to work across scientific fields. Program Co-Leaders are drawn from multiple disciplines to facilitate the development and accomplishment of integrative research. Programs meet quarterly using a variety of formats including faculty/trainee presentations, topical discussions, and external speakers.

Bioanalytics for Molecular Cancer Detection (BMCD)

Program Leader: Norm Dovichi, Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry

Program Co-Leaders: David Go, Associate Professor of Aerospace & Mechanical Engineering Amanda Hummon, Associate Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry

Investigators in BMCD develop and apply bioanalytic approaches for molecular detection of cancer in tissues, cells, sub-cellular particles and fluids for biomarker identification, molecular profiling and tumor detection.
Ongoing research in BMCD includes:

  • Multi-omics analysis (genome, proteome, metabolome)
  • Single cell analytics
  • Micro/nano-fluidics
  • Tumor and host exosomes

Models of Malignancy (MoM)

Program Leader: Ryan Roeder, Associate Professor of Aerospace & Mechanical Engineering

Program Co-Leaders: Karen Cowden-Dahl, Assistant Professor of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology Paul Helquist, Professor of Chemistry & Biochemistry

Investigators in MoM create and utilize cellular and organotypic culture systems to address mechanistic events in neoplasia and evaluate tumor development, progression, and metastasis in model organisms to incorporate the role of the complex tumor microenvironment and provide a platform for testing of novel therapeutics.

Ongoing research in MoM includes:

  • Cell, organotypic & ex vivo models
  • Engineered biomimetics
  • In vivo tumor models (xenograft, transgenic, PDX)
  • Tumor microenvironment
  • In vivo imaging
  • Drug discovery & delivery

Multiscale Data Integration and Modeling (MDIM)

Program Co-Leaders: Brian Baker, Professor of Chemistry & Biochemistry Danny Chen, Professor of Computer Science & Engineering

Investigators in MDIM analyze, quantify and integrate multi-omics data, ‘big data’, and multi-dimensional imaging data to provide a systems-level understanding of cancer and develop structural and computational approaches to evaluate and model neoplastic tissues and processes.

Ongoing research in MDIM includes:

  • Multi-omics data analysis and integration
  • 'Big data’ informatics
  • Computational modeling
  • Structure/activity relationships
  • 2D & 3D image analysis & reconstruction