Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
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Cancer Epigenetics & Nuclear Dynamics

The Cancer Epigenetics & Nuclear Dynamics (CEND) program focuses on nuclear phenomena associated with cancer, how information normally flows to and from the nucleus, and how information changes under tumorigenic conditions. CEND is organized into four thematic groups of researchers that reflect the program’s scientific aims. To achieve these aims, CEND members employ powerful genetic model systems, including budding yeast, C. elegans, Drosophila, and mice. Mechanistic analyses using cancer cell lines, primary cells, and tissue explants, as well as purified in vitro systems of varying complexity, complement studies in these model systems.

Scientific Aims

  1. Understand how genome organization changes during tumorigenesis and whether organizational changes contribute to tumor progression
  2. Understand how epigenetic regulation changes during tumorigenesis
  3. Understand how non-coding RNAs affect tumorigenesis
  4. Understand the relationship between transcription factors and cancer

Future Plans

  • Provide a common ground for faculty from different programs and campuses to interact and collaborate towards the goal of developing externally funded program projects
  • Continue and expand efforts to facilitate translation of basic discoveries to clinic
  • Target recruitment directly benefiting CEND in emerging areas of cancer research such as cancer epigenetics

Program Leaders


Among the program members are faculty from the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics and Department of Pharmacology on the Chicago campus. These recruits have specific interest in cancer epigenetics and significantly strengthen Northwestern’s cancer research programs in both basic and translational aspects of cancer epigenetics.