Molecular Therapeutics Program Themes
The research conducted within the Molecular Therapeutics Program can be described under the following highly interactive themes.
Synthesis and discovery of novel compounds and potential anticancer drugs
This theme has grown significantly over the past 5 years through recruitments and expanded collaborations. Each chemist contributes significantly to the research of one or more of the biology-based teams through synthesis of compounds to interrogate various signaling pathways, while in turn the biology laboratories provide the testing resources for assessing structure/activity relationships that guide further chemical synthesis and lead optimization.
Interrogation of cancer vulnerabilities
Investigators in this theme are at the biological interface between drug synthesis and novel therapeutic strategies. Approaches include interrogating potential new drug targets, identifying mechanisms underlying unique drug sensitivities, developing novel agents either alone or in hypothesis-based combinations and establishing predictive biomarkers of response for patient stratification and personalized therapeutics.
Development of hypothesis-based biomarker and interventional cancer clinical trials
This theme extends hypotheses generated in the laboratory to testing in early-phase clinical trials, both in therapeutic and proof-of-concept trials. It is important to recognize the contributions of the clinical investigators to the success of the MT program. Each of the clinician investigators is a member of a research team that includes laboratory scientists and is integral in moving the basic science concepts into clinical trials. Hence, while these clinicians may not be Principal Investigators on extramural grants, they are the Principal Investigators on clinical trials and are often funded as co-investigators on grants, coauthors on manuscripts, and are the catalyst to obtain intra or extramural funding to support NCCC-investigator initiated trials.