Cantor Lab

The Cantor Lab studies human cell physiology and how it is influenced by environmental factors with relevance to cancer and immunology.

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The Cantor lab is jointly affiliated with the Morgridge Institute for Research and the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. 

Our guiding hypothesis is that conventional models and methods have together masked key insights into understanding human cell physiology and drug efficacy. We test this through a variety of approaches at the interface of biology and engineering – integrating tools in biochemistry, molecular biology, metabolomics, functional genomics, and chemical genetics. We also have a strong interest in building and using tools that more faithfully model environmental contributions to human cell biology. Our overall goal is to advance the current understanding of how human cells facilitate their growth and how environmental factors influence this process – with a particular focus on blood cancers and normal immune cells. Ultimately, we hope to transition these insights into new strategies for (blood) cancer therapy that have a greater likelihood of successful translation.

We are actively recruiting team members. Learn more >

Principal Investigator Jason Cantor

After earning his B.S. magna cum laude in Chemical Engineering from Cornell University, Jason completed his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from The University of Texas-Austin. His doctoral work focused on strategies to engineer safer therapeutic enzymes for cancer therapy and included his development of a novel deimmunization scheme that combined concepts in directed evolution and neutral drift. Next, he completed his postdoctoral training at the Whitehead Institute/MIT, where his primary focus was in examining how environmental factors influence cancer metabolism. During that time, he pioneered the design and use of cell culture media that more faithfully mimic biochemical conditions in the human body. Since August 2018, Jason has held joint appointments as an Investigator at the Morgridge Institute for Research and as a tenure-track Assistant Professor in the Department of Biochemistry with faculty affiliate status in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. In addition, he is also a member of the University of Wisconsin Carbone Cancer Center and the Wisconsin Blood Cancer Research Institute.

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