Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center University of California at Los Angeles Los Angeles, California
In 1974, scientists at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) came together to form a cancer center and in 1976, the Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center received its NCI designation. More than 240 physicians and scientists conduct basic, clinical, and cancer prevention research, while providing the latest treatments to patients and training the next generation of medical researchers.
The cancer center has eight full and one developing program area. The program areas are organized to foster excellence in collaborative and interdisciplinary research across a variety of academic units on campus and provide a forum in which faculty members can advance their scientific efforts. The eight program areas include Cancer and Stem Cell Biology, Cancer Molecular Imaging, Gene Regulation, Genitourinary Oncology, Healthy and At-Risk Populations, Patients and Survivors, Signal Transduction and Therapeutics and Tumor Immunology. A nanotechnology program area currently is being developed.
The Jonsson Center’s leadership has placed particular focus on several areas. Partnering with UCLA scientists, the molecular imaging program follows cancer in both animal models and patients. For example, researchers track gene therapy at work in animal models to follow the immune system’s first responses to cancer. A second focus is in stem cell biology, an area where the Center helped to create an institute for this avenue of research. An additional emphasis at the Center is on the use of nanotechnology to develop novel diagnostic and drug delivery systems. The Center is developing new technologies for early detection and classification of cancers, combining nanotechnology, systems biology, and molecular imaging. This research is conducted in collaboration with researchers from the California Institute of Technology, the UCLA Institute for Molecular Medicine, and the Institute for Systems Biology in Seattle, Washington.
The Jonsson Center offers an active program of clinical trials to patients in partnership with research institutions, health care providers, and industry across the country through TORI (Translational Oncology Research International). Closer to home, the Center has a long tradition of outreach to the Los Angeles community and conducting health disparities research, particularly in the area of breast and colorectal cancer.
UCLA physicians provide care on the Westwood campus, in Santa Monica, and in Pasadena. In addition, there are clinics throughout the Los Angeles area. The Jonsson Center’s comprehensive services include psychosocial and supportive care for patients and their families. At the same time, prevention experts are working on genetic and lifestyle factors that may shed light on new ways to minimize risks of developing cancer. The Center also has an extensive program in place to assist cancer survivors.
* This profile was provided by the Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center.