Cellular Mechanisms Program

Members of this program seek to define and understand the spectrum of altered signaling pathways and their components that contribute to cancer initiation, promotion, and disease progression. The goal is to facilitate the step-wide translation of this knowledge into novel strategies aimed at prevention, early detection, diagnostics and prognosis, and treatment of cancer.

Programmatic focus includes the actions of cell surface receptors or nuclear receptors (i.e., steroid hormone receptors) and their ligands (the first messengers), intracellular second messengers, protein kinase cascades, and other signaling molecules that serve as modifiers of signal strength and duration, and the endpoints (substrates) of cell signaling pathways that regulate gene expression (transcription factors and their co-regulators, including DNA modifying enzymes).

See Cellular Mechanisms Program Members

Research themes

  • Signal Transduction within and between tumor cells
  • Epigenetic Regulation of the Cancer Transcriptome
  • Tumor Stroma Remodeling

The Cellular Mechanisms program holds monthly meetings in which single projects or multiple projects within related topic areas are discussed in an interactive roundtable format.

Program Leaders

Kaylee Schwartfaeger

Kaylee Schwertfeger, PhD
Professor of Medicine, Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology




Daniel Harki

Daniel Harki, PhD
Northrop Professor and Director of Graduate Studies, Department of Medicinal Chemistry