Please note: The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio will now be called "UT Health San Antonio."

Search Program Faculty/Research

Michael J. Wargovich, Ph.D.

Img 8318


Our laboratory investigates ways to prevent colon cancer. Our focus is on the chemoprevention of cancer - “Chemoprevention” is a discipline of cancer research that is less than 20 years old and embraces the idea that cancer can be prevented or precancers can be inhibited from progressing to cancer by the use of natural compounds or pharmaceuticals.  We study cancer biology using a number of human cancer cell lines and also utilize novel animal models for colon cancer.  Natural products can include substances from wine and green tea, fruits and vegetables, compounds in herbs and spices, vitamins and minerals, and dietary supplements. The lab has an interest in both terrestrial and marine botanicals. Via the pharmaceutical route, drug development has led to the discovery of compounds like tamoxifen for the prevention of breast cancer, aspirin for colon cancer.

Selected Publications

Thompson IM Jr, Cabang AB, Wargovich MJ. Future directions in the prevention of prostate cancer. Nat Rev Clin Oncol. 2014 Jan;11(1):49-60.

Moseley VR, Morris J, Knackstedt RW, Wargovich MJ. Green tea polyphenol epigallocatechin 3-gallate, contributes to the degradation of DNMT3A and HDAC3 in HCT 116 human colon cancer cells. Anticancer Res. 2013 Dec;33(12):5325-33.

Knackstedt R, Shaoli S, Moseley V, Wargovich M. The Importance of the Retinoid X Receptor Alpha in Modulating Inflammatory Signaling in Acute Murine Colitis. Dig Dis Sci. 2013 Oct 22.

Knackstedt RW, Moseley VR, Sun S, Wargovich MJ. Vitamin D receptor and retinoid X receptor α status and vitamin D insufficiency in models of murine colitis. Cancer Prev Res (Phila). 2013 Jun;6(6):585-93.

Volate SR, Muga SJ, Issa AY, Nitcheva D, Smith T, Wargovich MJ. Epigenetic modulation of the retinoid X receptor alpha by green tea in the azoxymethane-Apc Min/+ mouse model of intestinal cancer. Mol Carcinog. 2009 Oct;48(10):920-33.

Molecular Medicine


Ph.D., Microbiology, Texas Tech University, 1981

MS, Biological Sciences, Duquesne University, 1977

BA, Biology, Washington and Jefferson College, 1974



Phone: 210-567-8230

Research Profile
More Info...

Graduate Students

April Cabang
IMGP/Cancer Biology Track (PhD)

Yuan Fang
IMGP/Cancer Biology Track (PhD)

Roxane Khoogar
Molecular Medicine/Cancer Biology Track (PhD)