Mechanisms of Oncogenesis (MOO)

Mission

The mission of the Mechanisms of Oncogenesis (MOO) program is to define the molecular pathways by which normal cells transform to neoplasia in order to identify new methods of cancer prevention and treatment.

Aims

  • Elucidate the origins of neoplastic genomic and epigenomic instability

  • Define the role of regulatory RNAs in oncogenisis

  • Illuminate the aberrant cell signaling pathways leading to neoplastic transformation

Interim Program Leader

Rolf Renne, Ph.D.

Rolf Renne, Ph.D., is the interim program leader of the Mechanisms of Oncogenesis (MOO) program.

For nearly 13 years, Dr. Renne has served as a professor in the UF College of Medicine’s department of molecular genetics and microbiology, studying the Kaposi sarcoma-associated herpesvirus — which has been his research focus since 1995. His laboratory uses genomics, genetics and ribonomics approaches to study how virally-encoded genes and microRNAs contribute to KSHV biology and tumorigenesis.

Dr. Renne received his master’s and Ph.D. degrees from the Albert-Ludwigs University of Freiburg, Germany. He performed most of his Ph.D. thesis work at UC Davis with Dr. Paul Luciw in the field of retrovirology. Next, he joined the laboratory of Dr. Don Ganem at UCSF where he contributed to early work on establishing tissue culture models for KSHV, which had recently been identified as the causative pathogen for Kaposi sarcoma in patients with AIDS.

In 1999, he joined the faculty at Case Western Reserve University, where he focused on molecular aspects such as the role of the KSHV latency-associated nuclear antigen (LANA) in DNA binding and latent DNA replication. He established the only available Kaposi sarcoma xenograft model. In 2004, he moved to UF where his laboratory was one of four worldwide to sequence and identify KSHV-encoded microRNAs. 

The unifying goal of Dr. Renne’s research has been to achieve a deeper understanding of how latent gamma-herpesvirus gene products, including microRNAs and long noncoding RNAs, contribute to viral tumorigenesis of AIDS malignancies. His current focus is on epigenetic regulation of viral latency, and the role of long and small non-coding RNAs in viral biology. 

Dr. Renne has been continuously funded by multiple NCI grants since 2004. In 2017, he was awarded a multi-investigator NCI Program Project together with Scott Tibbetts, Ph.D., an associate professor at UF, and Erik Flemington, Ph.D., a professor at Tulane University.

He serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Virology and Virology and has authored more than 80 peer-reviewed articles. In 2009, Dr. Renne co-chaired the 11th International Workshop on KSHV and related agents as well as the 40th International Herpesvirus Workshop in Boise, Idaho in 2015. He serves on multiple NIH special emphasis panels. 

Program Members

Last NameTitleDepartmentCollegeResearch Interest Topics
Baer, Charles F., PhD

Assistant ProfessorBiologyLiberal Arts & Sciences
Bennett, Richard L., PhDResearch Assistant ProfessorHematology & OncologyMedicineApoptosis & Cell Death Pathways; Cancer Genetics; Cell Signaling Pathways; Epigenetics & Gene Regulation; Hematologic Malignancies/Blood & Marrow Transplant; Immunoregulation & Suppression; Leukemia; Post-Transcriptional Gene Regulation; RNA Processing; and Tumor.
Berglund, J. Andy, PhD

ProfessorNeuroGeneticsMedicineBioinformatics; Genetic Determinants of Cancer; Post-Transcriptional; RNA Processing.
Bloom, David C., PhD

ProfessorMolecular Genetics & MicrobiologyMedicineEpigenetics & Cancer; Epigenetics & Gene Regulation; Gene Therapy; miRNAs Oncolytic Viral Vectors; Tumor Virology/Virus-Host Interactions
Brown, Kevin D., PhD

Associate ProfessorBiochemistry & Molecular BiologyMedicine
Bungert, Jorg, PhD

ProfessorBiochemistry & Molecular BiologyMedicineEpigenetics & Gene Regulation; and Hematologic Malignancies/Blood & Marrow Transplant.
Concannon, Patrick, PhD

ProfessorPathology, Immunology & Laboratory MedicineMedicineMedicine
Datta, Susmita, PhD

ProfessorBiostatisticsPublic Health & Health Professions
Frost, Susan, PhD

ProfessorBiochemistry & Molecular BiologyMedicineBreast; Chemotherapy; Environment
Guryanova, Olga, MD, PhD

Assistant ProfessorPharmacology & TherapeuticsMedicineCancer genetics; Cancer Susceptibility; Cell Signaling Pathways; DNA Damage & Repair; Drug Resistance; Epigenetics & Cancer; Hematologic Malignancies/Blood & Marrow Transplant; Leukemia; Stem Cell.
Hromas, Robert, MD

ProfessorHematology & OncologyMedicineCancer Genetics; DNA Damage & Repair; DNA Recombination; DNA Replication; Drug Resistance; Epigenetics & Gene Regulation; and Genetic Determinants of Cancer.
Huang, Shuang, PhD

ProfessorAnatomy & Cell BiologyMedicineBreast; Cell Signaling Pathways; Drug Design; Drug Resistance; Epigenetics & Gene Regulation; Gynecological; Metastasis; MicroRNAs; and RNA Processing.
Huang, Suming, PhD

Associate ProfessorBiochemistry & Molecular BiologyMedicineCancer Genetics; Chemotherapy; Epigenetics & Cancer; Epigenetics & Gene Regulation; Hematologic Malignancies/Blood & Marrow Transplant; Leukemia; Stem Cell; Targeted Cancer Therapy.
Ishov, Alexander M., PhD

Associate ProfessorAnatomy & Cell BiologyMedicineBreast; Cancer Genetics; Chemotherapy; Epigenetics & Cancer; Functions of Histone Variants in Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer; Chemoresistance in Breast Cancer; Nuclear Structure and Function; Epigenetic Regulation of Gene Expression; Tumor Suppression.
Kaye, Frederic J., MD

ProfessorHematology & OncologyMedicineCancer Genetics; Cell Signaling Pathways; Genetic Determinants of Cancer; Head & Neck; Lung; and Thoracic Oncology.
Kilberg, Michael S., PhD

ProfessorBiochemistry & Molecular BiologyMedicineCell Signaling Pathways; Epigenetics & Cancer; Epigenetics & Gene Regulation; Leukemia; Liver; and Post-Transcriptional Gene Regulation.
Kladde, Michael P., PhD

Associate ProfessorBiochemistry & Molecular BiologyMedicineBreast; Cell Signaling Pathways; Epigenetics & Cancer.
Lele, Tanmay P., PhD

Associate ProfessorChemical EngineeringEngineeringAngiogenesis; Breast; Epigenetics & Cancer; Epigenetics & Gene Regulation; MicroRNAs; Nanotechnology; RNA Processing.
Li, Chenglong, PhD

ProfessorMedicinal ChemistryPharmacyCell Signaling Pathways; Drug Design; Drug Resistance; Epigenetics & Cancer; Hematolog Malignancies/Blood & Marrow Transplant; Immunotherapy; Neuro-Oncology; Pediatric Oncology; Stem Cell; Targeted Cancer Therapy.
Liao, Diaqing, PhD

Associate ProfessorAnatomy & Cell BiologyMedicineApoptosis & Cell Death Pathways; Breast; Cancer Genetics; Cancer Metabolism; Cell Signaling Pathways; Chemotherapy; Drug Design; Epigenetics & Cancer; Epigenetics & Gene Regulation; Genital-Urinary/Prostate; Immunoregulation & Suppression; and Tumor Virology/Virus-Host Interactions.
Licht, Jonathan D., MD

ProfessorHematology & OncologyMedicineDNA Damage & Repair; Epigenetics & Cancer; Epigenetics & Gene Regulation; Genetic Determinants of Cancer; Hematologic Malignancies/Blood & Marrow Transplant; Leukemia; Lymphoma.
Ling, Chen, PhD

Research Assistant ProfessorPediatric ResearchMedicineGene Therapy
Lu, Jianrong, PhD

Associate ProfessorBiochemistry & Molecular BiologyMedicineAngiogenesis; Apoptosis & Cell Death Pathways; Breast; Cancer Genetics; Cell Signaling Pathways; Epigenetics & Cancer; Epigenetics & Gene Regulation; Gene Determinants of Cancer; Metastasis; and Post-Transcriptional Gene Regulation.
Michailidis, George, PhD

ProfessorInformatics InstitutePublic Health & Health Professions
Opavsky, Rene, PhD

Associate ProfessorAnatomy & Cell BiologyMedicine
Qiu, Yi, PhD

Assistant ProfessorAnatomy & Cell BiologyMedicineEpigenetics & Cancer
Renne, Rolf F., PhD

ProfessorMolecular Genetics & MicrobiologyMedicineCell Signaling Pathways; DNA Damage & Repair; Lymphoma; Skin/Melanoma; and Tumor Virology/Virus-Host Interactions.
Srivastava, Arun, BSc, MSc, PhD

ProfessorPediatric ResearchMedicineHematologic Malignancies/Blood & Marrow Transplant; Liver; Stem Cell; Targeted Cancer Therapy; Tumor Virology/Virus-Host Interactions.
Terada, Naohiro, MD, PhD

ProfessorPathologyMedicineAngiogenesis; Cell Signaling Pathways; and Stem Cell.
Tibbetts, Scott, PhD

Associate ProfessorMolecular Genetics & MicrobiologyMedicineApoptosis & Cell Death Pathways; Epigenetics & Cancer; Epigenetics & Gener Regulation; Hematologic Malignancies/Blood & Marrow Transplant; Immunotherapy; Infection Control; Leukemia; Lymphoma; MicroRNAs; Stem Cell; Tumor Virology/Virus-Host Interactions.
Toth, Zsolt, PhD

Assistant ProfessorOral BiologyDentistryAngiogenesis; Cancer Genetics; Epigenetics & Gene Regulation; Immunoregulation & Suppression; Infection Control; Lymphoma; Post-Transcriptional Gene Regulation; RNA Processing; Tumor Virology/Virus-Host Interactions.
Wang, Gary P., MD, PhD

Associate ProfessorInfectious DiseaseMedicineBioinformatics; Gene Therapy; Liver
Wu, Lizi, PhD

Associate ProfessorMolecular Genetics & MicrobiologyMedicineApoptosis & Cell Death Pathways; Breast; Cancer Genetics; Cell Signaling Pathways; DNA Damage & Repair; Drug Design; Epigenetics & Cancer; Gynecological; Leukemia; Tumor Virology/Virus-Host Interactions.
Xie, Mingyi, PhD

Assistant ProfessorBiochemistry & Molecular BiologyMedicineBioinformatics; Cancer Genetics; Cell Signaling Pathways; Epigenetics & Gene Regulation; MicroRNAs; RNA Processing; Tumor Virology/Virus-Host Interactions.
Yang, Thomas P., PhD

ProfessorBiochemistry & Molecular BiologyMedicine
Zajac-Kaye, Maria, PhD

ProfessorAnatomy & Cell BiologyMedicineAngiogenesis; Apoptosis & Cell Death Pathways; Cancer Genetics; Cell Signaling Pathways; DNA Damage & Repair; Drug Design; Endocrine; Epigenetics & Cancer; Epigenetics & Gene Regulation; Gene Therapy;
Zhou, Lei, BMed, PhD

Associate ProfessorMolecular Genetics & MicrobiologyMedicineApoptosis & Cell Death Pathways; Bioinformatics; Cancer Genetics; Epigenetics & Cancer; Genetic Determinants of Cancer; Epigenetics & Gene Regulation; Radiation Oncology; Senescence.
Zolotukhin, Sergei, PhD

Associate ProfessorPediatric ResearchMedicine