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NCI-Designated Cancer Centers

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Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute
Basic Laboratory Cancer Center

Garth Powis, Ph.D.

10901 North Torrey Pines Road
La Jolla, California 92037
Main: (858) 646-3100

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Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute
La Jolla, California

Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute was founded in 1976 as the La Jolla Cancer Research Foundation and received its NCI cancer center designation in 1981. The Institute's headquarters are in La Jolla, California and a second campus was opened in Orlando, Florida in 2009.

The work of the Institute is highly collaborative, merging the efforts of biologists with chemists, biophysicists, engineers, and computer scientists. Sanford-Burnham’s Cancer Center is dedicated to understanding the pathogenesis of human cancer, and to translating basic research findings into novel strategies for cancer prevention, diagnosis and therapy.

The Center emphasizes four areas of cancer research: tumor microenvironment, tumor development, signal transduction, and apoptosis and cell death. Other major efforts include the development of targeting technologies that deliver anticancer drugs directly to tumors and development of tools that induce cancer cell death. A significant focus of the Cancer Center is chemical biology and small molecule-based drug discovery, which has been greatly enhanced by the establishment of the Conrad Prebys Center for Chemical Genomics at the Institute. The Prebys Center is one of four comprehensive small-molecule screening centers selected by the NIH as part of the Molecular Libraries Probe Production Centers Network. The Center is also part of NCI’s Chemical Biology Consortium. Both programs seek to leverage high-throughput drug screening technologies to develop the next generation of medicines.

The Cancer Center also benefits from underlying research strength in other areas at Sanford-Burnham, such as metabolic and inflammatory diseases and neurosciences. Cancer research is further bolstered by several technology-focused core facilities that are supported by the Cancer Center Support Grant. These cores provide specialized support in genomics, proteomics, structural biology, tumor analysis and other disciplines.

* This cancer center is one of seven cancer centers that only conduct laboratory research and do not provide patient care.
* This profile was provided by the Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute.