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Cancer Biology Theme (CANB)

Research Areas: Cancer Pathobiology & Immunology, Cancer Genomics, Metabolomics, & Epigenetics, Carcinogenesis & Tumor Microenvironment, Metastasis & Experimental Therapeutics, Cancer Cell Biology & Signaling, Bioinformatics & Target Discovery, Cancer Control & Population Sciences, NeuroOncology

Cancer Biology is one of eight interdisciplinary PhD themes within Graduate Biomedical Sciences (GBS).  Students select a theme upon application but have access to faculty and courses from across GBS, allowing for flexibility in both research and academics.

The Cancer Biology Theme provides training opportunities in multiple and contemporary areas of cancer research. Outstanding basic and translational research faculty from various schools, departments, and centers participate in training the next generation of basic and translational cancer researchers.


Areas included in the curriculum include molecular and cellular biology, bioinformatics, genomics, epigenetics, cancer biomarker discovery, cancer immunology, signal transduction, cancer treatment, and many other disciplines that:

  1. Enable molecular insight into the development and progression of cancer, and
  2. Create and enhance knowledge of strategies to identify cancer vulnerabilities to target various cancers.

See here for the CANB training plans.

Why should you join the Cancer Biology Theme at UAB?

The Cancer Biology Theme works in close association with the O'Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center at UAB. The O'Neal Cancer Center is the only NCI-designated comprehensive cancer center located in its four-state region. This allows our students to work in with expert and well-established research faculty and clinicians who use diverse approaches to focus on cancer. Students joining the Cancer Biology Theme will train extensively in basic, translational, and precision medicine research in various cancer types using an integrative approach. The interdisciplinary and collaborative research environment fostered and nourished at UAB enhances our team science approach and hastens the progress in tackling this dreaded disease.

Where will this degree take you?

Curing cancer needs an integrated knowledge of the cellular and molecular basis of cancer development and progression, analysis of large molecular data, and designing novel treatment approaches. Training from the Cancer Biology Theme at UAB helps prepare you to move seamlessly into your future career. Previous graduates are successful leaders in academia and industry in various aspects of basic and translational cancer research. Some of our alumni are successfully engaged in academic instructional positions and also play a critical role in health policy decisions. Learn where GBS graduates are now.


CANB Theme Contacts

Theme Director

Theme Director

Dr. Lalita Shevde-Samant
(205) 975.6261
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Theme Co-Director

Theme Co-Director

Dr. Soory Varambally
(205) 996.1653
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