Cancer Biology Concentration

Welcome New Cancer Biology Students

Zuo Ding

 Lab of Shuang Huang, Ph.D.

Mai Tanaka

 Lab of Dietmar Siemann, Ph.D.

Kartika Venugopal

 Lab of Olga Guryanova, M.D., Ph.D.

Aaron Waddell

 Lab of Daiqing Liao, Ph.D.



NOTE: This page is for detailed information about the Cancer Biology Advanced Concentration only. All inquiries concerning admission to the BMS must be directed to the BMS Admissions office at More information on admissions is also available on the Admissions Page.

The Cancer Biology Concentration provides training opportunities in cancer research ranging from basic to translational. The program spans many disciplines, including molecular and cell biology, genetics and epigenetics, biochemistry, microbiology, pharmacology, anatomy, pathology, epidemiology, bioinformatics, immunology and many others involved in the understanding of the development, progression, dissemination, and treatment of cancer.

The Goal of the Cancer Biology Concentration is to utilize molecular, cellular, biochemical, and host experimental approaches develop new knowledge that will enhance our understanding of cancer that will translate into improved detection, prevention and treatment of this disease.

The Mission of the Cancer Biology Concentration is to train the next generation of cancer biologists to make significant contributions to basic and translational research in cancer prevention and diagnosis, cancer epidemiology, novel therapy discovery, and cancer treatment.

Students in the will have opportunities to work with outstanding cancer investigators in state of the art facilities. Through combinations of courses, seminars, small group discussions, and an interdisciplinary approach to research, the program allows students to gain a unique understanding of cancer and to build a firm foundation upon which they can build careers in academia, government, and biotech and pharmaceutical industry.


Faculty and Research

Cancer Biology Concentration faculty members are interested in research areas including:

  • Cancer genetics
  • Molecular and cell biology
  • Cell signaling
  • Pharmacology/toxicology
  • Cancer immunology
  • Tumor microenvironment
  • Metastasis
  • Stem cells
  • Gene therapy
  • Therapy resistance
  • Molecular targeting
  • Drug development
  • Radiation biology
  • Cancer diagnostics
  • Epidemiology

The Cancer Biology Concentration includes participating faculty from both basic science and clinical departments of the University of Florida. For a list of faculty members in the Cancer Biology advanced program, please click here.

Cancer Biology Curriculum Description

Students selecting the Cancer Biology Concentration are required to take the 3 credit Fundamentals of Cancer Biology core course (GMS6065). Also, starting in the second year, students must register each semester for the Cancer Biology Concentration Journal Club (GMS 6691) and Cancer Biology Concentration Data Discussion (GMS 6934) and attend the weekly UFHCC Topics in Cancer Seminar Series and monthly UFHCC Grand Rounds.

  • GMS 6065 (3) : Cancer Biology
  • GMS 6691 (1) : Special Topics in Cell Biology (Cancer Biology Journal Club)
  • GMS 6934 (1) : Cancer Biology Data Discussion
  • Weekly UFHCC Topics in Cancer Seminar Series
  • Monthly UFHCC Grand Rounds


Cancer Biology students must select at least 4 additional credits from advanced cancer course electives. The elective credits can consist of any mix of graduate credit courses appropriate for the student’s training and research area and approved by the mentor and Cancer Biology Concentration Directors.

(Examples of Cancer Biology Concentration advanced course electives are listed below):

  • GMS 6064 (1): Tumor Biology
  • GMS 6053 (1): Cancer Biology and Therapeutics
  • BCH 5413 (3): Eukaryotic Molecular Biology and Genetics
  • BCH 7412 (1): Epigenetics in Human Disease and Development
  • BCH 7410 (1): Advanced Gene Regulation
  • GMS 6644 (1): Apoptosis
  • GMS 6421 (4): Advanced Cell Biology
  • GMS 6335 (1): Advanced Stem Cell Biology
  • GMS 6338 (1): Recent Advances in Cancer Metastasis
  • GMS 6009 (1): Principles of Drug Action
  • GMS 6232 (1): Advanced Applications of Bioinformatics
  • GMS 6818 (2): Design and Conduct of Clinical Trials
  • GMS 6812 (3): Cancer Epidemiology, Prevention, Early Detection, and Control
  • GMS 5905 (1): Special Topics in Biomedical Sciences (Immunology and Cancer)
  • GMS 6647 (1): Transcriptional and Translational Control of Cell Growth and Proliferation


Correspondence and Information

  • Dietmar Siemann, Ph.D
    Co-Director, Cancer Biology Advanced Concentration
    Department of Radiation Oncology
    University of Florida College of Medicine
    P.O. Box 100385
    Gainesville, Florida 32610
    Phone: (352)273-8231
  • Maria Zajac-Kaye, Ph.D
    Co-Director, Cancer Biology Advanced Concentration
    Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology
    University of Florida College of Medicine
    P.O. Box 100385
    Gainesville, Florida 32610
    Phone: (352)273-9153
  • Tom Franklin
    Graduate Coordinator
    Room: B1-003