Cancer Biology & Pharmacology

Cancer Biology and Pharmacology (CBP) is the primary basic and translational research department on campus. Our faculty conduct research on cancer biology, neuroscience, and ion channel biology that is at the interface of cancer biology and neuroscience. In addition to research, equally central to the Department’s mission is its direct contribution to medical education, and research training of medical fellows and postdoctoral research scientists.


Ongoing research is focused on brain tumors – medulloblastoma, primitive neuroectodermal tumors, glioblastoma and neuroblastoma – breast and prostate cancer, neuro-inflammatory and neurodegenerative diseases – Alzheimer’s, dementia, and multiple sclerosis – the neurotoxicology of environmental agents, stroke and spinal cord injury. The cancer research program is expanding to include four new areas of investigation: cancer microbiomics, cancer immunology, cancer metabolism, and cancer computational genomics and systems biology.

The highly collaborative culture that characterizes the Department is conducive to development of intellectually synergistic interdisciplinary collaborations leading to innovative and paradigm-shifting ideas and joint grant awards. We foster and facilitate collaboration not only among faculty within the Department, but also across departments in our medical school and the three other campuses – Chicago, Urbana-Champaign, and Rockford – our partner hospitals, the Illinois Neurological Institute, Jump Simulation and Illinois Cancer Care.