Cancer Cell Biology Program

The Graduate Program in Cancer Cell Biology (CCB) is one of seven programs in the WVU School of Medicine offering interdisciplinary biomedical research training leading to the Ph.D. degree. The major purpose of graduate education in this program is training in modern cancer rsearch. The program provides a strong foundation in the basic concepts of cell biology, oncogenes and signaling networks, tumor microenvironment, bioinformatics, and chemotherapeutics, which the student will learn through course work and laboratory training. Graduate students will develop skills in designing experimental procedures/protocols and in conducting independent research using state-of-the-art technologies. Each student will complete an original, in-depth research investigation. The overall aim of the program is to prepare students to succeed in a variety of science careers, including academic research, undergraduate teaching, science writing and basic or applied science in industry.

Doctor of Philosophy

Students with either a bachelor's or master's degree can apply to the Ph.D. program. Those with a bachelor's degree must complete the basic course requirements expected of a Ph.D. candidate. The doctoral candidate with an M.S. degree from another department must have had coursework or demonstrate knowledge in a biomedical field or its equivalent. In addition, the doctoral student will take additional coursework as determined by the student's Graduate Research Advisory Committee. The student will maintain a grade-point average of 3.0. The doctor of philosophy program requires a dissertation representing the results of an original research investigation and the passing of a written qualifying and final oral examination. Part one of the qualifying examination should be completed prior to beginning Year 2, usually in the summer between Year 1 and Year 2 of graduate study. A proposal defense should be completed by start of Spring semester of Year 3. The final examination for the Ph.D. degree will be the public dissertation defense.

For application materials, a description of faculty research interests, guidelines for graduate study in the Cancer Cell Biology Program, or additional information, please contact either the Health Sciences Center Admissions and Scholarship Committee (, the Graduate Coordinator of the Cancer Cell Biology Program, Interdisciplinary Center for Cancer Cell Biology, West Virginia University, P.O Box 9300.

Research Areas for Study

  • Signaling networks that regulate cellular motility and invasion in breast cancer.
  • Anoikis and the role of cell adhesion in cellular survival and mechanism of tumor suppression by E1a.
  • Bioinformatics and computer software applications that integrate information exchange.
  • PI3K and angiogenesis.
  • Pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, pharmacogenomics and oncology.
  • Regulation of the actin cytoskeleton in cell motility and tumor cell invasion.
  • Proteomics, monoterpenes and cancer.
  • Death domain folds in cancer, inflammation and immunity.