Sean W. Fanning, PhD


Professor Sean Fanning


Assistant Professor, Cancer Biology

CBCC 234

Laboratory Website: 

Research Focus Areas                                    Fanning lab video screenshot. 

                                                                       Watch Video to learn more.                                                                                                    

  • Breast cancer
  • Nuclear receptors
  • Drug resistance
  • Structure-based drug discovery              

Nuclear Receptors (NRs) are small molecule-activated transcription factors and key drivers of cancer pathology.  Because NR genomic activities are highly dependent on the bindings of small molecules to reprogram the transcriptions, they are well ideal therapeutic targets for a diverse range of diseases. In fact, 16% of all FDA approved drugs target NRs.  Our goal is to understand how small molecules influence NR structures, alter their genomic activities, and achieve breast cancer-specific therapeutic endpoints. These structures enable the rational design of improved therapeutic small molecules which will be used as anti-cancer agents to address the unmet therapeutic needs of breast cancer patients.

Departmental Program:  Cancer Cell Biology and Signaling

Education / Training:

BS:      Biochemistry, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA  USA
PhD:    Northern Illinois University, De Kalb, IL  USA
Postdoctoral Fellow: University of Chicago, Ben May
      Department for Cancer Research, Chicago, IL  USA

Sean Fanning Publications