Christopher M. Counter

Christopher M. Counter
Professor of Pharmacology and Cancer Biology
Amgen Faculty Mentor
CMB - Pharmacology and Cancer Biology
Third Year Mentor - Clinical Research Study Program (CRSP)
Third Year Mentor - Molmed - Molecular Basis of Disease Study Track
Third Year Mentor - Molmed - Regenerative Medicine Track
Third Year Mentor - Molmed Oncological Sciences
Campus mail: C225 Lev Sci Res Ctr, Durham, NC 27708
Phone: (919) 684-9890

The Counter lab studies the molecular mechanisms underlying the evolution of normal cells into cancer. The lab is divided into two major areas studying key features of human cancers.

Immortalization: We have shown that the ability of cancer cells to keep dividing, or become immortal, is a fundamental aspect of tumorigenesis, and is due to elongation of telomeres. Current efforts focus on the molecular biology of telomere-binding proteins in regulating telomere length.

Proliferation: The ability of tumor cells to proliferate inappropriately is a hallmark of cancer. One gene that plays a key role in this process is the oncogene Ras. We have shown that Ras exerts its oncogenic signals through different proteins at different phases of cancer. Current studies focus on how these different pathways promote cancer and how to inhibit their activity.

Education and Training

  • McMaster University (Canada), B.S. 1990
  • McMaster University (Canada), Ph.D. 1996
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Postdoctoral Fellow, Whitehead Institute For Biomedical Research

Selected Grants and Awards