About the Lab

The Cancer Biology and Translational Oncogenomics Laboratory of John A. Copland III, Ph.D., at Mayo Clinic's campus in Florida focuses its research on renal cancer, thyroid cancer and breast cancer.

The overarching goals of the Cancer Biology and Translational Oncogenomics Laboratory are to discover novel cancer genes, to better understand molecular mechanisms of carcinogenesis and tumor progression, and to develop effective molecular-targeted therapeutics.

Dr. Copland and his research team have made great strides in their work on oncogenomics.

  • The lab has genomically profiled human carcinomas to identify aberrant signaling pathways, and is further exploring these pathways in order to create novel, synergistic cancer therapies. The lab has:
    • Identified RhoB as a key modulator for drug response
    • Described a paradigm shift for the tumor suppressor FoxO3a, whereby the research team identified a new oncogenic role promoting tumor growth
    • Discovered that stearoyl-CoA desaturase (SCD1) plays an important role in carcinoma viability, with broad applicability across many aggressive cancers
    • Uncovered neuronal pentraxin 2 (NPTX2) as an oncogene in renal cell carcinoma
  • The lab is creating valid preclinical models that mimic patient tumors in order to better understand how tumors originate, survive and metastasize, which ultimately will help advance individualized medicine for patients with cancer.
  • Using in silico drug modeling, the lab developed novel SCD1-specific inhibitors that are being developed for clinical trials in different cancers.

About Dr. Copland

John A. Copland III, Ph.D., is a professor of cancer biology and an associate professor of biochemistry and molecular biology at Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science in Jacksonville, Florida.

Dr. Copland received his undergraduate degree in chemistry from Columbus College and his Ph.D. in physiology and endocrinology from the Medical College of Georgia. He completed postdoctoral training in cellular and molecular biology at the University of Texas Medical Branch.


Dr. Copland's Cancer Biology and Translational Oncogenomics Lab is affiliated with several Mayo Clinic research areas: