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Treating (advanced) cancers successfully requires understanding the specifics of cancer biology. Without that knowledge, the targeting of tumors and metastases and minimizing “bystander effects” is not possible. During the last decades, the community of cancer researchers has discovered that tumors are not just a growing mass of cells, but highly differentiated and often behave in many ways like another organ in the body, consisting of complex tissues that interface with the entire host organism. Cancer stem cells are often able to escape during classic tumor therapies that target fast growing cells, ultimately causing cancer relapse. The researchers in our department work toward understanding what makes cancers different from healthy tissue and how to take advantage of this therapeutically. We are the basic research department of KUMC with an emphasis on translating our results into the clinic and the lives of cancer patients.

News and Updates

Assistant Professor Michael VanSaun, Ph.D. Promotion

Michael VanSaun profileMichael VanSaun, Ph.D. has been promoted to Assistant Professor with tenure. Dr. VanSaun received his Ph.D. from the University of Kansas in 2004 and completed his postdoctoral degree at Vanderbilt. 

Mike has been an integral part of the Cancer Biology department since his return to KUMC in 2019.

Congratulations Dr. VanSaun!


2024 Tradition of Excellence Award

Aprajita Tripathi profileAprajita Tripathi, member of the Pyaram Lab, was selected as a winner of the 2024 Tradition of Excellence Award for her impact on the Jayhawk community. This recognition is awarded to those that encapsulate what it means to be an exceptional student leader that upholds the excellence, passion, and legacy of the KU community.

As part of the award, Aprajtia will receive a $1000 scholarship and an additional $200 to give to the KU endowment fund which she plans to donate to thrive food pantry at KU Medical Center.

Congratulations Aprajita!


Cancer Biology Bohan Visiting Professor Seminar Series  

Spring 2024 Schedule:

  • May 1: Madhuri Koti
  • May 15: David DeNardo Washington University-St. Louis
  • May 29: Katy Swancutt University of Kansas Medical Center

Please note that all seminars begin at noon and lunch is provided to the first 50 attendees. 

KU School of Medicine

University of Kansas Medical Center
Cancer Biology
3901 Rainbow Boulevard
Mailstop1071
Kansas City, KS  66160
cancerbiology@kumc.edu