Cellular and Molecular Oncology

Program Leaders: Steve Belinsky, PhD; Mary Ann Osley, PhD; and Michelle Ozbun, PhD

The Cellular and Molecular Oncology Research Program (CMO) is a trans-disciplinary research program with the overarching goals of understanding cancer susceptibility, etiology and progression; identifying diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers and therapeutic targets; and translating these discoveries to clinical and community interventions.

These goals are encompassed in three scientific aims:

  1. To investigate mechanisms regulating gene expression, cell proliferation and genome stability in normal and cancer cells;
  2. To study cell signaling pathways and their modulation in carcinogenesis; and,
  3. To discover and translate novel targets and biomarkers for intervention.

These aims are aligned with the central research themes of Environmental Exposures, Nuclear Functions, and Signal Transduction and Microenvironment, which provide the framework for a comprehensive approach to understand the cellular and molecular mechanisms that govern tumor initiation and drive cancer progression. 

CMO Leaders (l-r): Steven Belinsky, PhD; Mary Ann Osley, PhD; Michelle Ozbun, PhD

Dr. Belinky’s and Dr. Osley’s leadership focuses on basic research in gene expression, gene regulation and genomics.  Dr. Ozbun’s leadership focuses on cell signaling research and pathogen-associated cancers, and along with Dr. Belinsky, the overall clinical translation efforts in the Program.

The 27 full members, 5 associate members and 9 mentored members are drawn from 4 basic science departments and 4 clinical divisions in the UNM School of Medicine, the UNM College of Pharmacy, 2 UNM main campus departments, the Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute (LRRI) and Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL).  

Cellular and Molecular Oncology Researchers