Basic Science Research

Basic science research at Moffitt Cancer Center involves lab work that addresses the genome, cells, and biology of cancers, as well as the surrounding tissues, which can impact the nature of the cancer and its potential to spread.  Basic science focuses understanding of the mechanisms and causes of cancer at a biological and molecular level.  While new knowledge may not be immediately translatable to new treatments and cures, over time the fundamental discoveries of basic science provide the foundation for better treatments and cures.

The Department of Cancer Physiology, formerly Cancer Imaging and Metabolism, focuses on the characterization of cancer-related processes in their native state through the use of non-invasive techniques, including intravital microscopy, clinical grade imaging (PET/CT/MRI), and ex vivo live microscopy and metabolomics. 

The Department of Drug Discovery is interdisciplinary and composed of faculty members with expertise in molecular and cellular biology, structural biology, chemistry and pharmacology. 

The Department of Immunology faculty members focus on interrogation of immune regulation in cancer with the goal of developing novel immune strategies to combat cancer. 

The Molecular Oncology Department faculty members share common interests in understanding signal transduction pathways from the cell surface to the nucleus. They also aim to clarify the mechanisms by which a number of nuclear proteins control different cellular regulatory processes, such as gene expression and DNA replication. 

The majority of cancer-related mortality is due to metastasis, or the spreading of tumors, a facet of cancer that is difficult to target therapeutically. The Department of Tumor Biology focuses on various aspects of tumor heterogeneity and metastasis, including but not limited to cancer stem cells, tumor microenvironment, epithelial-mesenchymal transition and angiogenesis, as well as invasion and migration of cells.