The Cancer Biology Graduate Program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison offers a course of study and research leading to the Ph.D. degree. Over 50 faculty trainers from multiple departments including Oncology, Medicine, Human Oncology, Cell and Regenerative Biology, Medical Microbiology and Immunology, etc. participate in the graduate program. This interdepartmental structure offers remarkably diverse training opportunities which span the entire breadth of cancer biology research from haploid or diploid genetics, viral and chemical carcinogenesis, eukaryotic cell and molecular biology, virology, molecular toxicology, and whole-animal carcinogenesis. In addition, curriculum requirements are designed to be flexible, providing students with a maximal opportunity for specialization within this multidisciplinary field. The breadth of research opportunities, flexible curriculum, and outstanding training from faculty allow our graduate students to accomplish their educational and training goals and to establish themselves as independent researchers.
Administratively, the Cancer Biology Program is housed in the McArdle Laboratory for Cancer Research, synonymous with the Department of Oncology. McArdle Laboratory has a rich history of graduate training in cancer research. Since its establishment in 1940 as the first basic cancer research center in a U.S. academic institution, over 1600 women and men have received pre- and postdoctoral training at the McArdle Laboratory. McArdle alumni and Cancer Biology alumni move onto successful careers in academia, industry, medicine and government.
Harold P. Rusch
Harold P. Rusch discovered the wavelength of ultraviolet light that causes skin cancer.
Henry Pitot's early studies at the McArdle Laboratory demonstrated that the environmental regulation of gene expression in primary and transplanted hepatocellular carcinomas was defective and significantly different from that in a normal liver.
Bill Dove and Amy Moser isolated the mutant Min mouse, the first animal model of familial colon cancer; this provided a tractable route for study of the common human tumor.
Paul F. Lambert
Paul Lambert discovered that estrogen contributes to not only the establishment but also the persistence and malignant progression of cervical cancers in a mouse model for human cervical cancer. This discovery has potential implications in the clinical management of cervical disease.
Elizabeth & James Miller
Discovered that most carcinogens must first be converted to "active" forms is the single most far-reaching explanation for how diverse chemicals cause cancer.
Roswell Boutwell's work showed that a high-fat or high calorie diet accelerated the production of cancer in mice
Howard M. Temin
Howard M. Temin discovered reverse transcriptase (independently discovered by David Baltimore at MIT). The discovery of this enzyme helped to explain how retroviruses cause cancer and AIDS.
Paul Ahlquist and his colleagues discovered that three broad classes of viruses - including those that harbor the agents that cause such diverse ailments as AIDS, the common cold and cancer-causing hepatitis C - share functional traits that suggest they all evolved from a common ancestor. A better understanding of such commonalities may lead to the development of broad-spectrum antiviral agents.
Van R. Potter
Van R. Potter's theory of "enzyme inhibition and sequential blocking" led to the use of multi-drug therapy for cancer patients.
In addition to many contributions to molecular biology and the understanding of the mechanisms of gene expression, Waclaw Szybalski and his colleagues devised a technique for cutting large chucks of DNA exactly where they want.
Fluorouracil was first synthesized by Charles Heidelberger, and developed by Hoffmann LaRoche; this drug has been used extensively to treat breast, ovarian, stomach, and colon cancers
Bill Sudgen and colleagues discovered the mechanisms by which the cancer-causing Epstein-Barr virus grows in infected human cells.
Michael N. Gould
Michael N. Gould developed the means to generate rats null for desired genes allowing the detailed study of the contributions of BRCA1, BRCA2, and APC genes to the development of breast and colon cancers in this model organism. Rats null for APC, a model to study colon cancer, were generated by William Dove, PhD, in collaboration with Dr. Gould.