Cancer Research For Drug Development

Research in the Whitehurst Lab: UNC-Chapel Hill Department of Pharmacology

A Product of the HHMI-FT Internship and UNC-BEST: Summer 2011 by James McCord


This site explores the research going on in a science laboratory here in North Carolina. Scientists are constantly finding out new things about the world in an attempt to both understand and improve the world as we know it, so there are always exciting things going on in the field of research. Regardless of who you are, or what you know, this site will help guide you toward understanding the interesting research being carried out by scientists in the Whitehurst Laboratory in the field of cancer research.

Better Treatments for Cancer

Cancer effects a large percentage of the population; according to the National Cancer Society 50% of people will develop cancer at some point in their life. In spite of being so common, treatments for many types of cancer are still ineffective and prone to a wide variety of harmful side effects. Everyone is familiar with the image of the cancer patient as weak, feeble, and hairless. It is only through research that new treatments can be devised and old ones improved. Improving cancer treatments leads to healthier, longer-lived patients and a better chance of a full recovery.

What's Going On in the Lab

Researchers in the Whitehurst laboratory here in the school of pharmacology at UNC-Chapel Hill are working toward understanding cancer to better help doctors treat this disease that affects so many people across the world. Researchers are currently focusing on understanding the highly specific interactions within cancer cells. This information is highly necessary for other researchers in the future to design better, safer, and more effective therapies for treating cancer. There are several ways to start using the site depending on your interests and background.

Click Here for Guiding Questions

to Consider as You Read

Research Process

Go back to the researcher's beginnings and follow the entire process of developing a new cancer drug from start to finish

Ongoing Research

Jump right in and learn about the research that is being conducted in the laboratory right now

Science Background

Learn about some of the biology that influences the processes researchers are studying in the lab

Cancer Background

Explore the properties of cancer that make it so harmful to the body, and how scientists and doctors exploit cancer's properties to treat it.