"Discovery is our Business." Charles Huggins (Nobel Prize Laureate)

Welcome to the Ben May Department

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Biography of Charles Brenton Huggins

"With blood on the hands I have chance, seated at the desk I have no chance." Charles Brenton Huggins (Nobel Prize Laureate) Click Here for Biography of Dr. Huggins

Biography of Charles Brenton Huggins


Ben May Symposium April 6, 2015

Welcome to the Ben May Department for Cancer Research

Our vision is a future where cancer is eliminated by total cure or managed by chronic treatment that enables a high quality of life.

The mission of the Ben May Department is embodied in the motto of our founder, the late Nobel Prize winner Charles Huggins: "Discovery is our Business."  In that spirit of discovery, our researchers are pushing the boundaries of understanding and challenging the assumptions that often impede progress.  We believe the first step toward preventing or curing cancer is basic research on the intricacies of the human body and the molecular, cellular, and genetic events that lead to cancer.  Advances in our fundamental understanding of cancer can then be translated into better methods of prevention and diagnosis.

Latest News and Announcements

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How mitochondria play a role in breast cancer when the body forgets to do the housekeeping

If you took biology class in high school, you likely learned about mitochondria. Nestled inside our cells, these organelles are often depicted in textbooks as kidney bean-shaped structures floating outside the nucleus. Mitochondria’s main role is to produce the energy our cells need to function. But, a new study from the University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center has found that mitochondrial health plays a large part in breast cancer growth and progression too.

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Ilaria Rebay Wins Quantrell

Ilaria Rebay, Professor of the Ben May Department, receives 2015 Llewellyn John & Harriet Manchester Quantrell Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching.

The Llewellyn John and Harriet Manchester Quantrell Awards are believed to be the nation’s oldest prize for undergraduate teaching. Presented annually, the awards reflect the College’s commitment to honoring inspiring teachers. UChicago faculty often count the Quantrell among their most treasured honors. 

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New Protein Modifications Unlock Clues about Disease

With the recent publication of two high-impact research papers, biochemist and cancer biologist Yingming Zhao, PhD, professor of the Ben May Department for Cancer Research at the University of Chicago, is charting new territory in the understanding of post-translational modifications by describing novel ‘marks’ on histones and metabolic enzymes.

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Multi-gene Test Could Help Spot Breast Cancer Patients Most at Risk

A new test has the potential to help physicians identify patients with the most lethal forms of triple-negative breast cancer, a disease which requires aggressive and innovative treatment.

"We were able to detect bad guys hiding among the good guys," said study author Marsha Rosner, PhD, professor in the Ben May Department for Cancer Research at the University of Chicago. "When we applied our approach to clusters of patients sorted by the existing tests, we could spot exceptions."

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