The Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences


Cancer cells
Research being done by Physiology graduate program faculty on cancer

About cancer research

The Physiology program at Penn State is comprised of cancer researchers who focus on research questions that span the disease continuum, including the biological mechanisms important in cancer prevention, novel molecular targets relevant to cancer therapy, as well as the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying the metastatic process.


Is this option for me?

This option is for students who wish to study the causative factors of cancer, as well as approaches to cancer therapy.


Potential specialization areas

  • Physiological role of lifestyle factors (e.g. nutrition, exercise, obesity) and chemoprevention agents in cancer prevention and control
  • Molecular mechanisms underlying and/or regulating tumorigenesis
  • Role of inflammation and immune regulation in carcinogenesis and tumor development
  • Signaling pathways important in cancer progression and metastases


Mary Kennett
Professor, Veterinary & Biomedical Sciences
Director, Animal Resource Program

Matam Vijay Kumar
Assistant Professor, Nutritional Science

Innate Immunity-Gut Microbiotal Interactions in Metabolic Diseases such as diabetes and obesity; Host Metabolic Adaptations to Inflammation; Lipocalin 2 - mediated Iron Homeostasis in Inflammation.
Andrea Mastro
Professor of Microbiology and Cell Biology

Breast cancer and the immune system; how metastatic, osteolytic breast cancer cells affect osteoblasts.
Andrew Patterson
Director/Faculty Oversight, Metabolomics Core Facility (University Park)
Associate Professor of Molecular Toxicology

The Patterson lab is focused on understanding the host-metabolite-microbiome axis
Sandeep Prabhu
Professor of Immunology and Molecular Toxicology

Molecular mechanisms by which bioactives such as selenium, omega-3 fatty acids, and other products of natural origin alter the host response and immune function in inflammation and cancer
Connie Jo Rogers
Associate Professor and Occupant of the Broadhurst Career Development Professorship for the Study of Health Promotion and Disease Prevention

Role of changes in energy balance and related nutritional factors on inflammation, immune regulation and cancer risk using both animal models and human subjects.