About Us

Costas Lyssiotis
Costas Lyssiotis, Ph.D., Program Director

Welcome to the Cancer Biology Program at the University of Michigan. Our program was established in 2010 with the recognition that defeating cancer would require teaching students new ways to think about the biology of this disease. Therefore, we have structured the program to provide every student with the following.

  • Foundational knowledge in the variety of biological disciplines that comprise cancer biology
  • Tailored additional coursework based on the student's interests
  • Critical thinking skills
  • Research experience

Our goal is to challenge each student to meet her full potential and achieve her career goals, whether those be in academia, industry, or elsewhere.

Please explore this site to learn more about our faculty, our current students, their research interests, and many accomplishments. I hope that you will sense the the excitement we all feel as we strive to train the next generation of leaders in the fight against cancer.

Program Overview

The Cancer Biology program spans many disciplines including cell biology, genetics, biochemistry, microbiology, pharmacology, pathology, epidemiology, bioinformatics, and immunology, to name a few. It represents a unique set of training and educational activities that, taken collectively, expose the student to the full breadth of cancer biology while allowing immersion in a specific dissertation topic of the student’s choice.

Research Areas

Faculty in the Program are interested in a number of topic areas:

  • Tumor Microenvironment
  • Cancer metabolism
  • Tumor immunology
  • Cell biology
  • Genetics
  • Signaling
  • Precision medicine
  • Pathology
  • Bioinformatics

Projects range from fundamental studies of basic biological processes to translational research aiming to move basic findings into the clinic.

Student Organizations

  • Cancer Biology Peer Mentoring for First Years - Victoria Valvo
  • Cancer Biology Prelim Practices - Emily Lasse-Opsahl and Kallen Schwark
  • Cancer Biology Monthly Student Seminar - Victoria Valvo
  • Papers in the Park Cancer Biology Summer Journal Club - Rachael Baliira and Victoria Valvo
  • Cancer Biology Student Steering Committee Representatives - Stephen DeAngelo and Heather Giza
  • Cancer Biology Student Admissions Committee Representatives - Rachael Balirra, Heather Giza, Alan Kelleher, Daniel Salas-Escabillas, and Kallen Schwark
  • Cancer Biology Social Committee - Pete Sajjakulnukit
  • Cancer Biology Retreat Planning Committee - Alexis Harold, Nicole Jerome, and Victoria Valvo