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Building on basics

Targeting the triggers

"I view my move to UC Davis as a tremendous opportunity," said Kung, appointed this summer to be the basic science director at the UC Davis Cancer Center. "It is a chance to bring the expertise of my basic science laboratory together with the expertise of the clinical researchers already working here."

"What he also brings," said Ralph deVere White, director of the cancer center, "is his absolute recognition as an expert in the very broad but critical area of signal transduction - the way that cells are activated. His presence here will facilitate interaction with a multitude of researchers throughout the campus.

"And through his leadership and collaboration with clinical scientists, we will be able to build a truly world-class signal transduction program that will be the linchpin for our cancer research."

While elementary to the function of cells, signal transduction is no easy concept to understand or explain. DeVere White, whose renowned research into prostate cancer was among the main attractions that lured Kung to UC Davis, likens the process of signal transduction to the traffic control tower of a big-city airport. Signal transduction is the process that directs the activity of every cell.


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