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Cancer research at CSHL is devoted to understanding the fundamental biology of human cancer. This strong commitment to studying basic cellular processes is based on the premise that understanding how these processes are altered in cancer cells will ultimately provide a framework for rational therapies. Several technological advances developed at CSHL have given rise to innovative genomic approaches and the development of new mouse models of various cancer types. Together, these provide a powerful pathway for discovery, characterization and validation of genes that contribute to the development and progression of cancer.  A unique aspect of the CSHL cancer program is its interactive nature -- scientists are encouraged to share their ideas and work on questions in a synergistic way that far exceeds the power of any single laboratory working in isolation. The primary goal of the cancer program is likewise shared: to improve the diagnosis and treatment of all major forms of cancer.

CSHL is one of approximately 60 institutions supported by the Cancer Centers Program of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and has been designated as an NCI Cancer Center since 1987. The CSHL Cancer Center is organized into three main program areas and includes 9 shared resources which support and enhance research efforts at CSHL. (More about the CSHL Cancer Center)


Cancer researchers at CSHL:


Gurinder Atwal - Cancer; Population genetics; bioinformatics; stochastic processes; statistical mechanics and information theory

Ken Chang - Director, Genetic Screening Shared Resource

Camila dos Santos - Breast cancer, mammary gland development, stem cells, enhancer biology, gene regulation

Mikala Egeblad - Tumor microenvironment; intravital imaging; tumor-associated myeloid cells; breast cancer

Douglas Fearon - Cancer immunology, pancreatic cancer, mouse models

Thomas Gingeras - Genome-wide organization of transcription and the functional roles of non-protein coding RNAs

Christopher Hammell - MicroRNA, mechanisms of regulation by developmental & physiological signals

Molly Hammell - Gene regulatory networks; integrated genomic analysis; bioinformatics; RNA biology; small RNAs

Gregory Hannon - Growth control in mammalian cells; post-transcriptional gene silencing

Jim Hicks - Genomics; cancer genes;

Leemor Joshua-Tor - Structural biology; nucleic acid regulation; RNAi; molecular recognition; X-ray crystallography

Justin Kinney – Sequence-function relationships; machine learning; biophysics; transcriptional regulation

Adrian Krainer - Posttranscriptional control of gene expression; pre-mRNA splicing mechanisms, fidelity and genetic diseases; alternative splicing; RNA-protein interactions; cancer

Alexander Krasnitz - Genomics of cancer; machine learning for biology; inference from noisy biological data; large-scale numerical computing

Je H. Lee - Single-cell, in situ RNA-seq, non-coding RNA, spatial genomics, cancer microenvironment, pancreatic cancer

Dan Levy - Human genetics; mathematical modeling; algorithm development

Scott Lyons - Director, Animal Imaging Shared Resource

Rob Martienssen - Epigenetics; DNA methylation; chromatin and chromosome biology; transposable elements; RNA interference; stem cells; germline specification; plant genomics; plant evolution; aquatic plants

W. Richard McCombie - Genomics of psychiatric disorders; genomics of cancer; computational genomics; plant genomics

Alea Mills - Cancer; development; aging; senescence; epigenetics, autism

Darryl Pappin - Proteomics, mass spectrometry, protein chemistry

Scott Powers - Cancer genome; molecular targets and therapeutics; functional genomics; cancer biology

Michael Schatz  - Genomics; Genome Assembly & Validation; Sequence Alignment; High Performance and Multicore Computing; Parallel Algorithms; Cloud Computing

Jason Sheltzer - Cancer genetics, aneuploidy, genome dosage imbalances, systems biology

Adam Siepel - Computational biology, population genetics, computational genomics, molecular evolution, gene regulation

Raffaella Sordella - Molecular therapeutics; signal transduction

David L. Spector - Cell biology; gene expression; nuclear structure; microscopy; non-coding RNAs

Arne Stenlund - Papillomavirus; cancer; DNA replication

Bruce W. Stillman - Cancer; cell cycle; DNA replication; chromatin assembly; biochemistry; yeast genetics

Nicholas Tonks - Posttranslational modification; phosphorylation; phosphatases; signal transduction; protein structure and function

Lloyd Trotman - Cancer modeling and treatment; Senescence and tumor progression; cancer visualization; PTEN regulation

David Tuveson - Pancreatic cancer, experimental therapeutics, diagnostics, mouse models, cancer genetics

Christopher Vakoc - Chromatin; transcriptional regulation; acute myeloid leukemia; BET bromodomains; lysine methyltransferases

Linda Van Aelst - Signal transduction; Ras and Rho proteins; tumorigenesis; neuronal development

Michael Wigler - Human genetic disorders; population genetics; cancer genomics

Lingbo Zhang - Normal and malignant hematopoietic progenitor/stem cells; self-renewal; myelodysplastic syndrome; cancer-related anemia; leukemia

Hongwu Zheng - Malignant gliomagenesis; animal modeling; stem cell renewal/differentiation; genetic and epigenetic regulation


Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory is an NCI-designated Cancer Center. As a basic research institution, CSHL does not treat patients. Information about individual cancers is available at the NCI CancerNet. Questions about CSHL's cancer research program should be directed to our Public Affairs Department.