NCI Cancer Bulletin: A Trusted Source for Cancer Research NewsNCI Cancer Bulletin: A Trusted Source for Cancer Research News
August 1, 2006 • Volume 3 / Number 31 E-Mail This Document  |  Download PDF  |  Bulletin Archive/Search  |  Subscribe

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Cancer Center ProfileCancer Center Profile

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
Director: Dr. Bruce Stillman • One Bungtown Road, Cold Spring Harbor, NY 11724 • Phone: 516-367-8800 • Web site:

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Background
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory is a private, nonprofit, basic research and educational institution that was founded in 1890. It was first intended by the Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences for training high school and college teachers in marine biology, but has since expanded to the current research portfolio that includes activities in cancer biology, genomics and bioinformatics, neurobiology, and plant genetics.

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory is recognized internationally for its scientific meetings and courses that attract more than 8,000 scientists to the campus each year. Its Watson School of Biological Sciences, named for former laboratory president and Nobel laureate Dr. James D. Watson, offers a Ph.D. program for a small group of exceptional students. The Laboratory also trains college undergraduates through the Undergraduate Research Program, high school students through the Partners for the Future Program, and grade-school children in its Nature Study summer camp.

The Cancer Center at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory received its NCI designation in 1987 and focuses on the basic biology of human cancer. The Laboratory runs three major research programs: the Gene Expression Program, the Cell Biology Program, and the Cancer Genetics Program.

Research Activities
As a basic research Cancer Center, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory research does not directly involve patients. The Cancer Center has close working relationships with clinical research centers that provide access to primary cancer samples for analysis in several studies.

Scientists at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory study cell growth and the cancer cell cycle, gene silencing, apoptosis, chemotherapy, cellular senescence, microarrays, oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes, X-ray crystallography, protein-RNA interactions, RNA interference, signal transduction, SNPs, and the development of animal models to better represent human cancer, among other research topics.

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory scientists are also studying computational genomics and developing databases and analytic tools to help manage the increasing information that has resulted from cancer research and new technology.

Featured Meetings and Events
A calendar of scientific meetings and events sponsored by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is available at
Other Notable Programs
Researchers at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory are using a new DNA microarray method that they developed, which is known as ROMA (representational oligonucleotide microarray analysis), to scan the human genome for cancer-causing mutations. ROMA has the potential to identify new genes involved in specific cancer types (useful for drug discovery) and to classify cancers in a new way that may provide better insights for diagnostics and therapy.

Other programs include an extensive animal models program to analyze and improve diagnostics and treatment, as well as the creation of an RNAi library for the entire human genome to uncover and validate new gene targets.