Cancer Biology

Cancer Biology

In 2020, Cancer Biology joined the Molecular and Cellular Biology Program becoming the fifth degree-granting program within MCB, the largest graduate program at Dartmouth. Students will have greater access to faculty and research labs working on cancer biology.

The Cancer Biology track in MCB provides comprehensive training leading to a Ph.D. degree. The faculty have developed a rigorous course of study and created a supportive environment aimed at providing students with all the tools necessary to compete effectively for the attractive positions in the biomedical sciences. 

The molecular biology revolution has yielded unprecedented volumes of information on the origins of cancer and the numerous genetic changes underlying the disease. This knowledge is providing a revolution in therapeutic strategies. Even now, patients primarily receive drugs whose activity against the tumor is limited by unacceptable toxicity. But the future is much brighter with the development of rationally-designed agents that target many of the molecular characteristics of the tumor, thereby providing greater protection to the patient. Other approaches hope to intercede in the process of carcinogenesis before tumors even develop or harness the immune system to target and attack tumor cells. Our goal is to educate accomplished scientists with high scientific integrity, who think critically, communicate effectively, and have skills that will permit contribution to diverse professional settings within academia, industry, and beyond.

The goal of the Cancer Biology program is to provide students with an in-depth understanding of the biology of cancer, the underlying mechanisms, and the possible means to prevent and treat the disease. Each student will undertake a unique research project, using many of the modern tools of cell and molecular biology to answer important questions in the field of cancer research and to help with the overall goal of eliminating suffering and death from this disease.

View the Cancer Biology website for more information.

Dartmouth Cancer Center

Faculty in the Cancer Biology Program are aligned with the Dartmouth Cancer Center, one of only 51 centers nationwide to earn the National Cancer Institute's prestigious "Comprehensive Cancer Center" designation. Cancer biology is a thriving area of research focus at Dartmouth, encompassing diverse topics including cell signaling, genomics, metastasis, immunity, microenvironment, host-tumor interactions, angiogenesis, therapeutics, drug resistance, pharmacology, and precision medicine. The Cancer Biology track in MCB provides students with a broad-based understanding of key problems in cancer, and provides a framework for students to develop an ability to conduct creative biomedical research. Students have the opportunity to be mentored by faculty within both the basic and clinical sciences, and to receive didactic and experiential training in basic, translational, and clinical research aspects related to cancer. Research carried out by faculty and students uses the most advanced experimental approaches and models to understand the mechanisms that underlie cancer initiation, progression, and metastasis to support prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of cancer.

Learn more about the Dartmouth Cancer Center.