A Message from the Program Director

Dr. Alex TokerIntracellular signal transduction pathways orchestrate virtually all aspects of normal cellular physiology in response to extracellular cues, including growth factors that induce cells to divide and proliferate. Dysregulation of genes that encode for proteins that participate in signal relay pathways occurs in virtually all human diseases, including cancer.

Mutations in such genes often leads to hyper-activation of signaling pathways that ultimately leads to phenotypes associated with malignancies in human tumors, including cell growth, cellular survival, cellular migration, metastatic dissemination and metabolic reprogramming. For these reasons, many of the drugs that have been developed and are currently under clinical development for therapeutic intervention of both solid and hematological malignancies target one or more signaling proteins in cancer.

The scientists and clinicians in the Cancer Research Institute's Signal Transduction Program are focusing their efforts on deciphering the complexities of signaling pathways that control tumorigenesis at all levels. They are using a variety of approaches including shRNA and CRISPR screening, metabolic and mass spectrometry approaches, in vitro biochemistry and a wide range of mouse models, in conjunction with small molecule inhibitors under clinical development.

The program's scientists are engaged in a wide array of collaborative projects with Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, the Harvard Medical School community, the Ludwig Center at Harvard, The Jackson Laboratory and also with many biotech and pharmaceutical companies. They have received numerous awards and recognition from the National Institutes of Health, the U.S. Department of Defense, the Prostate Cancer Foundation, The Susan G. Komen Foundation, The V Foundation and many others.

Thank you for your interest in the Signal Transduction Program.


Alex Toker, PhD
Director, Signal Transduction Program
Cancer Research Institute at BIDMC