Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center Nashville, Tennessee
Founded in 1993, the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center became an NCI-designated cancer center in 1995 and earned its status as a comprehensive cancer center in 2001.
The mission of the Center is to alleviate cancer death and suffering through pioneering research, clinical trials, evidence-based patient-centered care, prevention and education, and community activities.
Research programs encompass basic, clinical, and population-based research, interdisciplinary collaboration, and bi-directional translation. Areas of research emphasis include: breast, colon, and lung cancer; basic research in growth factors, DNA damage, signaling, transcription and cell-cell/cell-matrix communication; and discoveries from large population cohorts in the southeastern United States and around the world. Vanderbilt-Ingram is developing the use of imaging, proteomics, genomics, informatics, and chemical biology platforms for cancer investigation.
A hallmark of the Center is its strong collegial culture which has resulted in extensive research collaborations. The Center’s partners at Vanderbilt University include the Vanderbilt Institute for Chemical Biology, the Vanderbilt University Institute of Imaging Science, and the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital. The Center’s 288 members conduct research and also provide care for both adult and pediatric cancers.
Among major priorities for Vanderbilt-Ingram are efforts to: develop and deliver molecularly-based diagnosis and treatment for cancers, identify individuals at high risk, and develop new targeted therapies to fit the increasing number of cancer “sub-types” based on molecular signatures. The Center’s research also focuses on understanding and meeting the medical, physical, psycho-social, cognitive, and other needs of a rapidly growing number of cancer survivors.
Vanderbilt-Ingram partners with other institutions in the community, including the historically black institutions Meharry Medical College and Tennessee State University, as part of the Meharry-Vanderbilt Alliance. This collaboration focuses on reducing health disparities by: increasing access to care and clinical trials among the underserved; providing support and mentoring students, trainees, and young scientists from underrepresented groups; and conducting research to reduce the burden of cancer among minorities and the underserved. One major program is the Southern Community Cohort Study (SCCS), an NCI-funded initiative of Vanderbilt, Meharry, and dozens of federally funded community health centers in the southeastern United States. The SCCS is enrolling and following 90,000 people—two-thirds of them African American—with the goal of understanding and addressing why African Americans and people in this region face a higher burden of cancer than other groups and regions in the nation.
* This profile was provided by the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center.