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University of Colorado Cancer Center

University of Colorado Cancer Center, A National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center

Robert A. Sclafani, PhD



Cancer chemoprevention by natural products and nutraceuticals


University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus


The student must have completed 4 years of college

Number of Openings: 1


The major goals are to determine the molecular mechanism by which the nutraceutical resveratrol can prevent and treat head and neck cancer in two different high-risk populations: Smokers/drinkers and Fanconi Anemia patients. Our current hypothesis is that resveratrol slows DNA replication, which results in DNA breakage at the replication fork and cell death in cancer cells.


Human normal and head and neck cancer cells are treated with resveratrol and cell cycle parameters, DNA damage and checkpoint protein activation are measured using a myriad of modern biochemical and cell biological methods.

Molecular genetic (“Functional Genomics”) and pharmacological analyses are used to test the function of genes and proteins in the cellular response to resveratrol. Students will work with others (students, postdocs and technicians) in the laboratory to learn these methods, interpret the data and present them in meetings.

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