Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at Thomas Jefferson University
The Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at Thomas Jefferson University (TJU) was originally established in July 1991 as the Jefferson Cancer Center (JCC), with Dr. Carlo Croce appointed as its first Director. The JCC changed its name to the Kimmel Cancer Center (KCC) in 1996, in honor of its benefactor, Mr. Sidney Kimmel. Dr. Richard Pestell was recruited as the second Director of the KCC, having previously served as Associate Vice President at Georgetown University and Director of the Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center in Washington, DC (2002-2005). In December 2005 Dr. Pestell moved to the KCC along with 32 faculty and staff and has led the Cancer Center for the last nine years.
This is the nineteenth year of NCI support at the Kimmel Cancer Center. The Cancer Center successfully secured its first NCI-designated Cancer Center Support Grant (CCSG) in June 1995, and earned its renewal in 2001, 2008, and 2013. In 2008, the KCC was formally designated by the National Cancer Institute as a Consortium Cancer Center, with the inclusion of the Lankenau Institute for Medical Research. The consortium was expanded in 2013, with the inclusion of Drexel University as a consortium partner.
In 2013, in recognition of the extraordinary generosity of Mr. Kimmel in his very recent gift of $110 million to TJU, the cancer center was renamed as the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center (SKCC).
With over 400 members, the Center provides oncology research, patient care, education, and health information services for Thomas Jefferson University, the University Hospital, Methodist Hospital, and the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center Network with 29 hospital and practice partners. The research faculty is committed to discovering cancer risk factors, designing effective prevention strategies, and learning how to detect cancers earlier. They are developing and testing the latest cancer treatments, targeted therapies that will improve both survival and quality of life.
There are five interdisciplinary research programs at the Center. Two programs are in the basic sciences: cancer cell biology and signaling, and molecular biology and genetics. Three programs are in clinical science: biology of prostate cancer, biology of breast cancer, and gastrointestinal cancer.
The Center also conducts training programs in cancer research for both pre- and post-doctoral level students. The objective is to prepare graduate students for a career in cancer research. There are three Ph.D. programs associated with the SKCC: Biochemistry & Molecular Pharmacology, Genetics, Genomics & Cancer Biology, and Immunology & Microbial Pathogenesis; and a significant majority of these students conduct their thesis research in SKCC laboratories. Post-doctoral training is also conducted in the laboratories at the Center.
SKCC has outreach programs to connect with cancer survivors and their families to address their emotional as well as physical health. The Center offers the assistance of Oncology Social Workers to support the entire family. There is also a Buddy Program in which trained survivors of cancer provide support and encouragement to patients who are newly diagnosed. The Center also has a strong emphasis on diversity and outreach activities to minorities in the Philadelphia community.
* This profile was provided by the Kimmel Cancer Center at Thomas Jefferson University.