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Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute

Basic Laboratory Cancer Center

Ze’ev Ronai, Ph.D., Director

La Jolla, California

Main: 858-646-3100

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Sanford Burnham Prebys Cancer Center, founded in 1976 as the La Jolla Cancer Research Foundation, was designated as an NCI Basic Laboratory Cancer Center in 1981. The center’s mission is to build a foundation for novel cancer therapies through paradigm-shifting discoveries by creating, translating, and disseminating exceptional basic cancer science. The center is dedicated to transforming state-of-the-art, multidisciplinary basic research into knowledge of the causes, prevention, and treatment of cancer, improving the quality of life of cancer patients, and educating and training the next generation of cancer scientists.

Research at Sanford Burnham Prebys Cancer Center

Research at the Sanford Burnham Prebys Cancer Center is built around three programs that reflect the cancer continuum of initiation:

  • Tumor Initiation and Maintenance Program
  • Cancer, Molecules and Structures Program
  • Tumor Microenvironment and Cancer Immunology Program

The programs embody the highly collaborative, multidisciplinary culture of the center.

The center has exceptional strength in early translational research that encompasses the investigation of cancer targets and the discovery of potential therapeutic agents, through the early preclinical development of promising small-molecule or biological agent therapies.

Select Scientific Initiatives at Sanford Burnham Prebys Cancer Center

As one of NCI’s seven basic laboratory cancer centers, Sanford Burnham Prebys’s goal is to translate its discoveries more quickly to clinical treatments. Key initiatives include:

  • Allying with San Diego’s other two NCI-Designated Cancer Centers (Moores Cancer Center at UC San Diego and the Salk Cancer Center) to create the San Diego National Cancer Institute Cancer Centers Council (C3). The C3 leverages the unique skills and resources of each cancer center to accelerate the understanding and treatment of cancer.
  • Joining forces with clinical researchers to form Oncology Disease Teams to help transition research innovations into viable disease-specific therapeutics. Teams focus on challenging cancers: acute myeloid leukemia, brain, breast, lung, and pancreatic cancer, and include clinicians from the Moores Cancer Center at UC San Diego Health, Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego, and the Scripps MD Anderson Cancer Center.
  • Partnering with the Prebys Center, one of the most advanced drug discovery facilities in the nonprofit world, to shorten the distance between basic cancer research findings and therapeutics discovery.

* 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.

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