MUSC Hollings Cancer Center

J. Alan Diehl, PhD, joins HCC as Associate Director for Basic Sciences

Charleston, S.C. – Noted cancer researcher J. Alan Diehl, Ph.D., has joined Hollings Cancer Center at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) as Associate Director for Basic Sciences and will serve as Professor in the MUSC Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology.

“We are excited to have Dr. Diehl join the Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology and the Hollings Cancer Center. He is an outstanding researcher in the field of cancer biology and molecular mechanisms underlying cellular transformation. We look forward to having his expertise on campus and for him to help build and coalesce the basic sciences in the Hollings programs,” said Philip H. Howe, Ph.D., professor and chair, Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, Hans & Helen Koebig Chair in Oncology, at MUSC.

With a long-standing interest in the regulation of cell division, Dr. Diehl’s research interests focus on unraveling the mysteries of neoplastic growth with the ultimate goal of defining novel therapeutic opportunities.  He has made seminal contributions to the understanding of how dysregulation of cell division, specifically D-type cyclins, directly contributes to cancerous growth.  Additional research efforts focus on how tumor cells survive in a harsh tumor environment with a specific interest in how alterations in lipid biosynthesis and signaling contributes to tumor growth and development.  Dr. Diehl’s laboratory utilizes cutting-edge technology including genomics, animal models, lipidomics and proteomics to interrogate pathways and define the molecular underpinnings of tumor development. 

Dr. Diehl is currently funded through multiple National Cancer Institute (NCI) awarded R01 and P01 grants, placing him among the top echelon of principal investigators holding this level of funding for peer-reviewed research in cancer, a testament to the strength of his research.  He has been continuously funded by NCI for 14 years.

 “Dr. Diehl is a superb basic scientist who has become a leader in translating new scientific discoveries into improved approaches to diagnosing and treating cancer,” commented Craig B. Thompson, MD, president and chief executive officer of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and a collaborator of Diehl’s. “MUSC is fortunate to have recruited him to a leadership position in Hollings Cancer Center.”

In his role as Associate Director for Basic Sciences for Hollings Cancer Center, Dr. Diehl will focus on advancing and integrating basic science discoveries in order to facilitate the development of the next generation of therapeutics, thereby facilitating clinical efforts that treat and eradicate cancer.

On joining the faculty at MUSC and the Hollings Cancer Center, Dr. Diehl commented that he has been looking for an environment where he could see the impact of the basic and clinical science coming together to have an effect on the community:  “There has been tremendous development and growth at Hollings Cancer Center during the past several years, contributing to an atmosphere of scientific and medical excellence.  We have the faculty and infrastructure in place to advance cancer discoveries and translate them into clinical care, and I think the sky is the limit for advancing cancer research here.”

Prior to joining MUSC, Dr. Diehl held the position of Director of the Cancer Cell Biology Program at the University of Pennsylvania within the Abramson Family Cancer Research Institute and co-director of the Tumor Biology Program in the Abramson Cancer Center.  He received his doctorate in Biochemistry from the University of Missouri-Columbia and completed postdoctoral studies in Tumor Cell Biology at the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.  He has been recognized as a V Scholar, an American Cancer Society Research Scholar, and a Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Scholar.

About Hollings Cancer Center

Hollings Cancer Center at the Medical University of South Carolina is a National Cancer Institute-designated cancer center and the largest academic-based cancer program in South Carolina. In addition to the full range of clinical services, the cancer center has more than $42 million in cancer research funding and more than 200 clinical trials open to patients. 

Hollings Cancer Center offers state-of-the-art diagnostic capabilities, therapies and surgical techniques with multidisciplinary clinics that include surgeons, medical oncologists, radiation therapists, radiologists, pathologists, psychologists and other specialists equipped to the full range of cancer care. For more information, please visit

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