Cancer and Stem Cell Biology Program


Dr. Gay Crooks Dr. Brigitte Gomperts


Gay Crooks

Contact via email


Brigitte Gomperts

Contact via email


The primary objective of the Cancer and Stem Cell Biology Program is to link basic and translational investigators interested in the unique biological processes shared by malignancy and stem cells. The fundamental biology that characterizes these two systems can be viewed as the control of the opposing processes of self-renewal and differentiation. The balance of these processes is in turn determined by cell intrinsic and micro-environmental cues. These common mechanisms are studied by a group of highly interactive CSCB investigators using normal stem cells and their malignant counterparts.


Scientific interactions between our investigators have three major integrating themes that are relevant to the study of malignancy and stem cell biology irrespective of the specific tissue/cell source. These are:

  1. The regulation of growth and differentiation in tissue specific stem cells during malignant transformation and normal development
  2. The role of microenvironment in tumor formation and stem cell regulation
  3. The use of pluripotent stem cells as a model to study basic mechanisms of self-renewal and transformation

Meetings and Events

  • Participation in weekly Jonsson Cancer Center seminars that feature invited outside and local faculty
  • Sponsor of the Cell and Developmental Biology Weekly Seminar Series
  • Co-sponsor of the annual UCLA Stem Cell Symposium
  • Sponsor for outside invited speakers that focus on research related to cancer and stem cell biology
  • Monthly seminars for Pre-doctoral and Postdoctoral students supported on T32 grants associated with the program (Tumor Cell Biology, Vascular Biology, CIRM training grants)


Director Dr. Gay Crooks is the Rebecca Smith professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine and professor of Pediatrics at UCLA. In addition to her role as Director of the JCCC Cancer and Stem Cell Biology program, Dr Crooks is Co-Director of the Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research. Her research program was founded on the question of how the immune system develops from human hematopoietic stem cells during health and after transplantation. This central theme has reached over time into three related areas: 1) the characterization and manipulation of human hematopoietic stem cells and lymphoid progenitors; 2)  normal development and bioengineering of the thymic microenvironment; and 3) hematopoiesis from human pluripotent stem cells. Dr. Crooks is an attending physician in the Division of Pediatric Hematology-Oncology, caring for children who undergo hematopoietic stem cell transplantation.

Upcoming Events

The following list is for upcoming events and seminars of notable interest to the Cancer and Stem Cell Biology Program and its members. This calendar is updated automatically.

For a list of all upcoming JCCC events (including other research programs, patients and survivors, and the UCLA Jonsson Cancer Center Foundation), please visit the Events Calendar.