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Dan L. Duncan Cancer Center

Houston, Texas

BCM has 25 departments and more than 90 research and patient-care centers.
Dan L. Duncan Cancer Center
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Cancer Evolvability Program

Susan M. Rosenberg, Ph.D., Leader
Janet S. Butel, Ph.D., Co-Leader

Janet S. Butel, Ph.D., Leader;

Evolution of tumors and infectious disease occurs by variation and selection. Variation creates the ability to evolve (evolvability). Whereas conventional therapies kill cells or stop them from growing (are anti-proliferative), proposed novel interventions that would inhibit the ability to evolve promise new and fundamentally different ways to inhibit oncogenesis and thwart resistance. Two basic routes generate variation: (1) intrinsic genomic and phenotypic instability (mutation, genome rearrangement, recombination, epigenetic and stochastic protein and RNA variation); and (2) extrinsic-introduction of foreign genes, proteins, RNAs and other molecules and genetic programs by infectious agents (viruses, microbes, microbiome). These are the two themes of this program.

Theme 1: Genome and Phenome Plasticity, Susan M. Rosenberg, Ph.D., Leader


  1. David Bates, Ph.D.
  2. Alison Bertuch, M.D., Ph.D.
  3. Ido Golding, Ph.D.
  4. Philip Hastings, Ph.D.
  5. Christophe Herman, Ph.D.
  6. Grzegorz Ira, Ph.D.
  7. Erez Lieberman, Ph.D.
  8. James Lupski, M.D., Ph.D.
  9. Bhagavatula Moorthy, Ph.D.
  10. Susan Rosenberg, Ph.D.
  11. Shelley Sazer, Ph.D.
  12. Zhou Songyang, Ph.D.
  13. Pawel Stankiewicz
  14. John Wilson, M.D.
  15. Pumin Zhang, Ph.D.
  16. Chenghang Zong, Ph.D.

Theme 2: Infectious Oncogenesis and Microbiome, Janet S. Butel, Ph.D., Leader


  1. Janet Butel, Ph.D.
  2. Elizabeth Chiao, M.D., M.B.A.
  3. Mary Estes, Ph.D.
  4. Joseph Hyser, Ph.D.
  5. Ron Javier, Ph.D.
  6. Jason Kimata, Ph.D.
  7. Paul Ling, Ph.D.
  8. Dongfang Liu, Ph.D.
  9. Richard Lloyd, Ph.D.
  10. Susan Marriot, Ph.D.
  11. Joseph Petrosino, Ph.D.
  12. Andrew Rice, Ph.D.
  13. Betty Slagle, Ph.D.
  14. Michael Scheurer, Ph.D.
  15. James Versalovic, M.D., Ph.D.

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