Schiffman Lab


Working to Understand Who Develops Cancer and Why

The Schiffman Lab studies pediatric hereditary cancer syndromes, with a special interest in genetic susceptibility to childhood cancers. Our research investigates molecular changes in childhood cancers, as well as the germline genetic variation that gives rise to childhood tumors. It is our goal to find out who gets cancer and why, so that we can develop ways to better predict, prevent, and treat cancer in the clinic.

Our Approach

All of our studies include the perspective of evolutionary (Darwinian) medicine, with a focus on comparative oncology to identify universal drivers of cancer risk and development. By examining the genetics of cancer in our animal relatives alongside our own, we offer a dynamic and creative approach to translational genomics. Working with collaborators from all over the country and the world, we’re able to study cancer in people, dogs, and elephants. This transdisciplinary approach continues to yield new and exciting results.

Comparative Oncology

Areas of Study

p53 Studies

  • p53 and Li-Fraumeni Syndrome
  • Elephant p53

Ewing Sarcoma

  • What Is Ewing Sarcoma?
  • Genetic Predispositions for Ewing Sarcoma (Project GenESis)
  • The Genetics of Ewing Sarcoma Tumors

Cancer in the Population

News & Blog

Living with Li-Fraumeni Syndrome: Patients Share Their Experiences
Mar 19, 2021

Living with Li-Fraumeni Syndrome: Patients Share Their Experiences

Jenny Gray was expecting a baby boy when she was diagnosed with osteosarcoma. Her leg was amputated and her son was induced at 35 weeks so she could begin chemotherapy. Jenny learned she and her son have Li-Fraumeni syndrome (LFS), which significantly raises the risk of cancer. Jenny and two other women talk about living with LFS and HCI experts discuss what to do if you have it.... Read More

Solving a Family Cancer Mystery: Li-Fraumeni Syndrome
Oct 01, 2019

Solving a Family Cancer Mystery: Li-Fraumeni Syndrome

When Kiera Jorgensen was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 19, she fought not only sarcoma, but also a mystery that had loomed over her family for generations. Now years out of treatment, Kiera has answers and is conducting research to help families like hers better understand a rare genetic mutation.... Read More

Aug 29, 2018

Having HOPE to fight cancer

September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, and Kneaders Bakery and Cafe is encouraging customers to join them in their unique campaign to fight childhood cancer, one delicious cookie at a time!... Read More

Aug 23, 2018

Kneaders Childhood Cancer Awareness

Starting September 12, you can buy these delicious Elephant-shaped sugar cookies, dipped in white chocolate, with sprinkles at any of the 9 Kneaders locations in Colorado. 100% of sales from each cookie sale goes to benefit Dr. Josh Schiffman's Childhood Cancer Research at the Huntsman Cancer Institute.... Read More