Skin Cancer and Biology

Skin cancer affects the lives of many of our patients and their families, and the incidence of these cancers continues to rise each year. Our Skin Cancer Biology Research teams are investigating mechanisms underlying the initiation, development, maintenance, and progression of skin tumors. Our scientists are examining basal cell carcinoma (BCC) tumor progression in the context of normal hair follicle development, comparing and contrasting these two processes as a possible means of gaining novel insights into tumor biology.

Additional work is focused on Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC), a rare but aggressive skin cancer that is caused by a virus. Whenever possible, relevance to human disease is established by working directly with human skin cancers, which are obtained in collaboration with our team of skin cancer surgeons and dermatopathologists. Understanding the molecular and cellular basis of melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers will drive future innovations in prevention, diagnosis and treatment, leading to improvements in the overall care of our patients.