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Contact the Division of Cancer Biology

Division of Cancer Biology
9609 Medical Center Drive MSC 9747/9748
Bethesda, MD 20892

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Office of the Director

The Director’s Office oversees the activities of the branches as well as special initiatives and Programs funded by the Division. The Office also fosters emerging topics in basic cancer biology, such as cancer systems biology, physical sciences in oncology, and the tumor microenvironment, in order to facilitate the development of the field.

More information on research supported by the Office of the Director is available in the Research section.

Phone: (240) 276-6180
Fax: (240) 276-7861

Name & Position Email Areas of Expertise

Daniel Gallahan, Ph.D.

Director Cancer biology

Shannon Hughes, Ph.D.    

Deputy Director Cancer metastasis and systems biology

Lisa Witzler, Ph.D. 

Chief of Staff DCB processes and policies

Jason Bunting

Information Technology (IT) Specialist          IT and technology platforms

Yvette Butler           

Staff Assistant DCB travel processes and policies

Hannah Dueck, Ph.D.

Program Director Cancer systems biology, tumor heterogeneity, and single-cell biology

Janice Embry       

Program Analyst DCB administrative processes and policies

Tiffany Ferguson   

Staff Assistant Point of contact for the Deputy Director of DCB

Riante Jones

Communications Specialist Health communication

Rebekah Mikeasky

NCI Communications Fellow  Science communication

Claire McCarthy, Ph.D.

Communications Manager  DCB communications

Michelle Turner

Program Analyst DCB portfolio and data analysis

Matthew Whitehead

Office Automation Technician Automation systems

Cancer Cell Biology Branch

CCBB supports and directs research that defines the biological basis for the differences between normal cells and cancer cells, with a major emphasis on studies that reveal processes and molecular targets where there is potential for therapeutic or preventive intervention.

More information on research supported by this branch is available in the Research section.

Phone: (240) 276-6230
Fax: (240) 276-7865

Name & Position Email Areas of Expertise

Rihab Yassin, Ph.D.

Chief Gastroesophageal cancer biology, tumor-initiating cells/stem cells, early lesion biology, and thyroid cancer

Sharmistha Ghosh-Janjigian, Ph.D.

Program Director Tumor atlases, tumor promotion, early lesion biology, and oncogenesis

Ruibai Luo, Ph.D. 

Program Director Post-translational modifications and R03, R15, and R50 grants in cancer cell biology

Stefan Maas, Ph.D. 

Program Director          RNA biology, RNA regulation of cancer processes, tumor suppressors, and the regulation of translation

Konstantin Salnikow, Ph.D

Program Director     Cell death and survival pathways, cell stress in cancer, aging and cancer biology, and cancer cachexia initiators/mediators

Kristine Willis, Ph.D.

Program Director  Cancer metabolism, mitochondria and organelle biology, cell cycle, and experimental models

Wanping Xu, Ph.D. 

Program Director Cancer signaling pathways, cellular chaperones, oncogenes, and cancer cachexia pathways

Cancer Immunology, Hematology, and Etiology Branch

CIHEB includes the Immunology and Hematology Section and the Cancer Etiology Section.

The Immunology and Hematology Section supports studies on the basic mechanisms of anti-tumor immune responses and hematologic malignancies.

The Cancer Etiology Section supports two broad categories of studies on possible etiological factors or co-factors in cancer: biological agents (primarily viruses and bacteria) and host predisposing states including obesity, diet, and aging.

More information on research supported by this branch is available in the Research section.

Phone: (240) 276-6200
Fax: (240) 276-7867

Name & Position Email Areas of Expertise

Kevin Howcroft, Ph.D.

Chief Cancer immunology, multiple myeloma, extracellular vesicles, and retrotransposons

Phil Daschner 

Program Director Cancer etiology, biological carcinogenesis, microbiome, and the role of diet/nutrition/obesity in cancer

Yvonne Duglas-Tabor 

Program Associate Director          R13 and R50 grants related to cancer immunology and cancer health disparities

Chamelli Jhappan, Ph.D             

Program Director     Oncogenic RNA viruses, hematopoietic malignancies, multidrug resistance in cancer, and the nervous system regulation of cancer

Margaret          Klauzinska, Ph.D.

Program Director Hematopoiesis, myeloid malignancies, bone marrow niche, and epitranscriptomics

Lillian Kuo, Ph.D. 

Program Director Immunology and virology, microscopy for cancer, vesicle biology, and molecular biology related to antitumor immunity 

Yin Liu, Ph.D.       

Program Director Immunity/autoimmunity, inflammation, lymphocyte migration, and T cell receptor signaling

Susan McCarthy, Ph.D. 

Volunteer T cells, immunosuppression, immunotherapy, and immunotherapy-related adverse events

Elizabeth Read-Connole, Ph.D.

Head - Cancer Etiology Section Cancer etiology, oncogenic viruses, and biology related to HIV/AIDS and cancer

Monica Zamisch, Ph.D.

Program Director Cancer immunology, molecular biology, vaccine development, and systems biology

DNA and Chromosome Aberrations Branch

DCAB supports basic cancer research focused on making clear the genetic and epigenetic mechanisms of tumorigenesis and mechanisms of chemical and physical carcinogenesis.

More information on research supported by this branch is available in the Research section.

Phone: (240) 276-6250
Fax: (240) 276-7865

Name & Position Email Areas of Expertise

Ian Fingerman, Ph.D. 

Chief Cancer genomics, mechanisms of cancer susceptibility, genetic heterogeneity, and non-coding RNAs

Ron Johnson, Ph.D. 

Program Director          Chemical and tobacco carcinogenesis, replication stress, DNA damage signaling, and transcriptional regulation by ER and p53

Paul Okano, Ph.D

Program Director     Epigenetic modifications, chemical and UV mutagenesis, DNA repair, and DNA polymerases

Anu Sharman, Ph.D.

Program Director  Genomic/epigenomic alterations related to cancer health disparities, genetic models for cancer disparities, and R03, R15, and R50 grants related to DNA and chromosome aberrations 

Michael Weinreich, Ph.D.

Program Director DNA replication, replication stress, cell cycle, and DNA damage checkpoints

Keren Witkin, Ph.D. 

Program Director Genome instability and chromosomal rearrangements, double strand break repair pathways, telomere maintenance, and fusion oncoproteins

Linda Zane, Ph.D.

Program Director Cancer genomics, transcriptomics, epigenomics, and nuclear architecture

Structural Biology and Molecular Applications Branch

SBMAB supports studies in three areas: technology development and molecular applications; biophysical biology; and computational/mathematical methods and bioinformatics development. The branch also supports integrated and systems biology approaches to cancer biology.

More information on research supported by this branch is available in the Research section.

Phone: (240) 276-6210
Fax: (240) 276-7863

Name & Position Email Areas of Expertise

Jennifer Couch, Ph.D.

Chief Artificial intelligence, technology development, citizen science, and structural biology

Anowarul Amin, Ph.D.

Program Director (Contractor) Biophysics, structure-function mechanisms, proteomics, and cellular imaging

Steven Becker, Ph.D. 

Program Director          Tissue engineering and 3D culture, regenerative medicine, cell characterization, and imaging technologies

Robin Brown 

Program Associate Director     SBMAB grant portfolio analysis and policies

Eric Johnson Chavarria, Ph.D.

Program Director  Cytoskeleton, protein structure, microfluidics and microfabrication, and single molecule techniques

Jerry Li, M.D., Ph.D. 

Program Director Informatics, deep learning, protein structure modeling, and synthetic biology

David Miller, Ph.D. 

Program Director Mathematical methods and analysis, computational modeling, software development, and data science

Tumor Biology and Microenvironment Branch

The Tumor Biology and Microenvironment Branch supports basic tumor/early lesion-microenvironment research across the different stages of tumorigenesis. The focus is on the mechanistic underpinnings of bidirectional tumor and/or early lesion interactions with its microenvironment as co-organizers dictating tumor initiation and/or indolence, progression and response to therapy. 

More information on research supported by this branch is available in the Research section.

Phone: (240) 276-6220
Fax: (240) 276-7866

Name & Position Email Areas of Expertise

Jeffrey Hildesheim, Ph.D.

Chief Tumor-stroma co-organizer biology, mechanisms of therapy resistance, senescense, and stress signaling in tumors 

Tapan Bera, Ph.D.

Program Director Treatment resistance, tumor cell plasticity and polarity, and molecular signaling in the tumor microenvironment

Christina George

Scientific Program Specialist  R03, R13, and R50 grants related to the tumor microenvironment

Mihoko Kai, Ph.D. 

Program Director  Tumor heterogeneity, stem cell biology, non-coding RNAs in the microenvironment, and hormone signaling

Natalia Mercer, Ph.D. 

Program Director   Tumor stroma, tumor and microenvironment metabolism, protein modifications, and glycobiology

Elizabeth Woodhouse, Ph.D. 

Program Director     Extracellular vesicles, extracellular matrix and cell adhesion, angiogenesis, and cancer cell migration

Tumor Metastasis Branch

The Tumor Metastasis Branch plans, develops and directs the Division’s research program in tumor metastasis, focusing on mechanisms of metastasis and metastatic niches, circulating tumor cells, dormancy, and angiogenesis and vasculogenesis.

More information on research supported by this branch is available in the Research section.

Phone: (240) 276-6220
Fax: (240) 276-7866

Name & Position Email Areas of Expertise

Joanna Watson, Ph.D.

Chief  Circadian rhythms, cancer cachexia, circulating tumor cell biology, and mechanisms of metastasis

Grace Ault, Ph.D.   

Program Director Cell invasion and migration, epithelial-mesenchymal transition, metabolic adaptation to the microenvironment, and growth factor signaling

Justin Benavidez, Ph.D.

Presidential Management Fellow Biological sciences, developmental biology, and cancer metastasis

Brunilde Gril, Ph.D. 

Program Director Brain metastases, blood-brain/tumor barrier, experimental therapies for metastasis, and receptor tyrosine kinase signaling

Christine Nadeau, Ph.D. 

Program Director  Mammalian models of cancer, Notch signaling, breast cancer, and systemic immunity

Elizabeth Snyderwine, Ph.D. 

Program Director     Xenobiotic and cellular metabolism, metastasis, aging biology, and the bone microenvironment

Fanta Whiting

Program Associate Director R03, R15, and R50 grants related to cancer metastasis

Administrative Resource Center

The Administrative Resource Center (ARC) of DCB and the NCI Division of Extramural Activities (DEA) is responsible for facilitating administrative processes involved in conducting the research activities and functions of DCB research areas.

Name & Position Email Areas of Expertise

Bridgette Tobiasson 

Division ARC Manager NCI administrative and management policies and processes

Eric Graves     

Division ARC Deputy Director DCB and DEA administrative and management policies and processes

Kelly Dyott

Administrative Officer NCI travel policies and procurement processes

Kevin Greene 

Administrative Officer NCI financial policies/grants and DCB budget processes

Linda Stephens 

Administrative Officer  NCI Human Resources policies and processes

Paige Walker 

Administrative Technician   DCB administrative and travel policies

Additional DCB/DEA ARC staff include the following DEA Administrative Officers:  Rhudel Stevens (Lead Administrative Officer), Jamie Brewer, Katelyn Beahm, and Paul Fatula.



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