MCW Cancer Center Research Programs

MCWCC research efforts focus around three programs that leverage institutional and clinical partners and build on existing scientific expertise. The MCWCC research programs are built around strong and complementary faculty leaders, successful peer-reviewed funding, synergy with areas of clinical care excellence and clinical research portfolios, and suitability for transdisciplinary collaboration on one or more research themes.  To learn more about each program, click on the sections below. 

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  Cancer Biology (CB)

Cancer Biology (CB)

Discovering biological abnormalities and chemical characteristics of cancer cells -- epigenetics, carcinogenesis, signal transduction, and alternations in functions and regulations -- to develop more effective methods of preventing and treating cancer.

The majority of CB members’ research focuses on breast, pancreas, lung, and prostate cancers, which are particularly relevant for patients in our local communities. CB members are discovering basic biological processes that promote these cancers by addressing three major themes: 1) cell signaling, 2) metabolism & energetics, and 3) genetics & epigenetics. 

Research of the most active CB program members often cross multiple themes as is seen on the figure below:

The Cancer Biology program is led by Dr. Carol Williams and Dr. Balaraman Kalyanaraman. These leaders provide cohesive and complementary scientific direction and push CB members to expand individual projects into cross-disciplinary, translational research efforts. The co-leaders actively participate in CB-focused efforts, including the weekly CB Research Forum and the advancement of mentoring committees for junior faculty and physician scientists. To learn more about the CB research program leaders, click on the links below. 

Balaraman Kalyanaraman, PhDBalaraman Kalyanaraman, PhD

Harry R. & Angeline E. Quadracci Professor in Parkinson’s Research; Chairman and Professor of Biophysics; Director, Free Radical Research Center



Carol L. Williams, PhDCarol L. Williams, PhD

Professor, Pharmacology and Toxicology




  Hematological Malignancy & Immunotherapy (HMI)

Hematological Malignancy & Immunotherapy (HMI)

Understanding how transferring cells from one person to another can kill cancer cells, and discovering new ways to reset the immune system. Improving survivorship and quality of life for cancer patients receiving blood and bone marrow transplants.

To learn more about the HMI research program leaders, click on the links below. 


William Drobyski, MD

William Drobyski, MD

Professor, Medicine, Pediatrics and Microbiology and Molecular Genetics




Jeffrey Medin, PhD

MACC Fund Professor, Department of Pediatrics





  Cancer Control & Outcomes (CCO)

Cancer Control & Outcomes (CCO)

Focus on underserved populations and cancer disparities, survivorship, and reducing cancer incidence and rates of death across all demographic groups.

To learn more about the CCO research program leaders, click on the links below. 

Ann Nattinger, MD, MPH

Senior Associate Dean for Research
Director Center for Patient Care and Outcomes Research
Lady Riders Professor of Breast Cancer Research, Professor of Medicine



Joan Neuner, MD, MPH

Joan Neuner, MD, MPH

Associate Professor, Medicine