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OHSU Knight Cancer Institute tapped for participation in a national consortium to accelerate cancer drug discovery

As the only center in the Pacific Northwest, OHSU will collaborate with other selected centers to address unmet needs in cancer therapy
Knight Cancer Institute Research lab work featuring a pipette with liquid being injected into a tube.
The Knight Cancer Institute is the only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center between Sacramento and Seattle — an honor earned only by the nation's top cancer centers. It offers the latest treatments and technologies as well as hundreds of research studies and clinical trials. (OHSU/Christine Torres Hicks)

The OHSU Knight Cancer Institute’s Center for Experimental Therapeutics has been selected as the only cancer center in the Pacific Northwest to participate in a national consortium aimed at accelerating the discovery and development of new and innovative targeted cancer therapies.

The Chemical Biology Consortium (CBC) — the discovery engine of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) Experimental Therapeutics (NExT) Program — is administered through the Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research (FNLCR), a federal national laboratory sponsored by the NCI, part of the National Institutes of Health, and currently operated by Leidos Biomedical Research, Inc. The CBC is designed to bring together chemical biologists and molecular oncologists from government, industry, and academia to address complex challenges in the field of cancer therapy.

Sanjay Malhotra Ph.D.
Sanjay Malhotra, Ph.D. (OHSU)

Sanjay Malhotra, Ph.D., co-director of the Knight Cancer Institute’s Center for Experimental Therapeutics and a professor in the departments of cell, developmental and cancer biology and oncological sciences in the OHSU School of Medicine, says becoming a member of the CBC is an “important distinction.”

“Our goal in creating the Center for Experimental Therapeutics nearly two years ago was to create an innovative and flexible infrastructure — we wanted the center to be a hub for collaboration with pharma, biotech, foundations, investors and more,” Malhotra says. “We want to attract scientists at OHSU and beyond who have clever ideas for new and improved cancer therapies, and provide them the expertise and infrastructure for translating discoveries from the lab to the clinic. As a Consortium member we will collaborate with other CBC Centers and the applicant PI to move NCI funded drug discovery projects from an idea to a clinical candidate.”

About OHSU’s Center for Experimental Therapeutics

Shivaani Kummar, M.D.
Shivaani Kummar, M.D. (OHSU)

The center’s other co-director is Shivaani Kummar, M.D., head of the division of hematology and medical oncology in the OHSU School of Medicine. As a clinical leader and practicing oncologist, Kummar says this kind of collaboration is what is needed to make progress for patients with cancer.

“As a Comprehensive CBC Center, the Knight Cancer Institute will participate in an integrated network of chemical biologists and molecular oncologists to expand the pipeline of oncology drugs,” Kummar says.

Brian Druker, M.D.
Brian Druker, M.D. (OHSU)

OHSU Knight Cancer Institute Director Brian Druker, M.D., applauds the new distinction.

“The Knight Cancer Institute continues to be at the forefront of cancer research, and this collaboration in the CBC affirms our role as a leader in drug discovery and development,” he says.

The OHSU Knight Cancer Institute has expertise in 13 unique areas, including the ability to translate early lab discoveries through pre-clinical development to first-in-human clinical trials.

The Knight Cancer Institute is the only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center between Sacramento and Seattle — an honor earned only by the nation's top cancer centers. It offers the latest treatments and technologies as well as hundreds of research studies and clinical trials.

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