Division of Cancer Prevention Chief's Welcome

Basil Rigas, MD, DSc
Division Chief

Established in 2004 as one of the first Divisions in the nation dedicated primarily to cancer prevention, our Division has grown to encompass highly innovative research programs focusing on pressing clinical needs. Our basic premise reflects the age-old concept that prevention is preferable to treatment. We are dedicated to preventing common human cancers that extract a heavy toll on our society.

Our approach includes the development of novel synthetic or natural agents that can prevent (or even treat) established cancers with efficacy and safety. Collectively, our Division’s investigators are skilled in all aspects of this demanding pursuit. Our expertise includes new compound synthesis, efficacy studies, drug formulation, pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics, safety evaluation and identification of molecular targets. In addition, we have expertise in early human clinical trials.

Another important goal of our Division is to train tomorrow’s leaders in this field. We have a friendly yet rigorous training program. Our trainees include undergraduates, graduate students (both MS and PhD), as well as postdoctoral fellows. Many of our trainees have gone on to exemplary careers in academia and industry and we are enormously proud of their accomplishments.

I invite you to explore our website to learn more about the life of the Division and our research projects. Feel free to communicate with us if you have any questions you would like to discuss.


Basil Rigas, MD, DSc
Chief, Division of Cancer Prevention
William and Jane Knapp Professor of Pharmacology
Professor Medicine

Jennie Williams, PhD
Associate Professor
Interests: Cancer Chemoprevention and Racial/Ethnic Health Disparity, Mentoring undergraduates