Rik Derynck


UCSF: Broad Center of Regeneration Medicine, Cell & Tissue Biology, Cancer Center


cell signaling, TGF-beta, cancer stem cell biology, epithelial-mesenchymal transdifferentiation

Project Description

In this lab we explore mechanisms of TGF-beta signaling and their roles in epithelial-mesenchymal transdifferentiation (EMT), a developmental differentiation process that is reactivated in and essential for fibrosis, and cancer progression and dissemination. Since in carcinoma cells EMT is mechanistically linked to cancer stem cell properties and cancer drug resistance, we also aim to understand the molecular mechanisms that link EMT and TGF-beta signaling with acquisition and maintenance of cancer stem cell properties and cancer drug resistance. Within this context, summer projects will be designed and developed through conversations of the mentor with the student. The projects will involve several possible avenues focusing on defining the effects of individual signaling pathways on EMT, stem cell properties and cancer drug resistance. They may also involve exploration of ways to selectively interfere with TGF-beta signaling pathways. All projects will be carried out using cell culture model systems, and will combine a variety of molecular biology, protein biochemistry and cell culture-based techniques. For more information, see: https://deryncklab.ucsf.edu


We are looking for talented and enthusiastic students with some previous lab experience in molecular biology and cell culture.

Expected time commitment

Full time during the summer; continuation during the school year and future paid position possible.

Preferred start time: