Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine
The Warfel lab is focused on understanding the complex biological mechanisms that allow cancer cells to thrive in the hypoxic tumor microenvironment and how we can exploit such pathways to oppose the oncogenic properties of tumor hypoxia and improve patient care. Hypoxia is a reduction in the normal level of tissue oxygen that is frequently observed in cancer due to poor blood flow and aberrant development of new blood vessels. While hypoxia is toxic to normal cells, cancer cells take particular advantage of their ability to adapt to these harsh conditions and promote survival. In order for tumors to continue to grow and survive in hypoxia, it is essential that cancer cells activate signal transduction pathways that promote survival and angiogenesis. As a member of the University of Arizona Cancer Center (UACC), Dr. Warfel has developed a translational research program working closely with clinical researchers to improve the way we treat cancer.