Research Program of the JAX Cancer Center

Our Research Program, Genetics and Genomics of Aging and Cancer, combines multidisciplinary technical and computational expertise with the institution’s unique knowledge of mouse models and human cancer genomics to identify precise therapeutic interventions to prevent and to treat cancers.

We have members across two campuses in Maine and Connecticut with multidisciplinary expertise who are united in research aimed at understanding and targeting the genomic complexity of cancer.

The multitude of mutations found in each cancer type limits the development of a common therapeutic, and cancer’s genetic diversity and instability leads to resistance to therapies. Moreover, genetic diversity among patients contributes to varied responses to any single treatment.

Researchers at JAX Cancer Center are developing strategies that use this genetic complexity as an advantage to discover new cancer treatments.

Select scientific initiatives supporting these goals include:

  • Develop new animal, cellular, and computational models of cancer to accelerate identifying new therapeutic strategies to advance to human clinical trials.
  • Explore the genomic instability and genetic complexity of cancer as a novel source of therapeutic targets.
  • Investigate how key components of tumor and normal cells interact to influence tumor response to treatment.

Aging is the single biggest cancer risk factor and it is associated with progressive cellular dysfunction and heightened inflammation. However, not all older people develop cancer. Identifying the basic mechanisms underlying aging- and tissue-specific inflammation will be transformative in how cancer patients are diagnosed or treated, or how people are prevented from developing cancer. Our goal is to build new transdisciplinary research capacity and catalyze new, joint research programs to more thoroughly explore questions at the intersection of cancer and aging/geroscience.

Our single Research Program is structured around exploration of four pillars: genomic instability and genetic complexity of cancer; genetic complexity of host; therapeutic resistance; and treatment toxicity. Central to our strategy is the ability to develop and integrate murine and human biology through comparative genomics and computational modeling.