Alvin Makohon-Moore, Ph.D., is an Assistant Member of the Center for Discovery and Innovation.
The laboratory focuses on defining evolutionary mechanisms that drive tumorigenesis, metastasis, and treatment resistance. Evolution is fundamental to understanding cancer because cancer cells acquire mutations and other molecular alterations that provide a selective advantage within an environment consisting of stroma, extracellular matrix, immune cells, nutrients, and other components. Cancer cells also encounter novel environments, selective pressures, and bottlenecks during clonal expansion, invasion and metastasis. The lab utilizes evolutionary analyses, multi-omics, pathology, and experimental evolution to systematically and rigorously quantify cancer evolutionary dynamics. The ultimate goal is to thwart the evolution of aggressive and lethal cancers, and thereby discover therapeutic opportunities that improve patient outcomes.