Researching Cancer in the Upper Midwest
The Center for Cancer Biology Research fosters a collaborative and supportive environment for its innovative cancer research laboratories. Researchers here work toward reducing the immense burden of cancer in South Dakota and across the Upper Midwest by translating basic discoveries into clinical trials for human cancer patients.
How We’re Funded
The NIH National Institute of General Medical Sciences funds the Center for Cancer Biology. The goal of this grant is to support a Center of Biomedical Research Excellence (CoBRE) as a foundation for basic science and translational cancer researchers.
What We Research
We focus our research on uncovering the basic mechanisms underlying the development of cancer, understanding the importance of the immune system and in turn developing novel approaches to treat cancer. The center has strengths and expertise in:
- Pediatric brain tumors
- Head and neck cancers
- Breast cancer
Our robust oncology clinical trial program includes immunotherapy trials that harness the power of the immune system to destroy tumors. It also includes physician-initiated trials.
How We Support the Scientific Community
The center supports and mentors junior investigators (project leaders) researching the importance of the immune system in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma and childhood cancers. The leadership team provides project leaders with an individualized mentorship plan to enhance their professional skills and further their research goals to become successful, independent investigators.
The Center also supports two interdisciplinary cores:
These provide center affiliates and regional scientists with key expertise and access to the latest technologies.
To learn more about the research center, see the published research under its CoBRE grant.
Meet Our Team
External Advisory Committee
Ezra Cohen, M.D.
Professor of Medicine
Associate Director, Moores Cancer Center
Co-Leader, Solid Tumor Therapeutics Program
University of California San Diego
Ronny Drapkin, M.D., Ph.D.
Franklin Payne Chair in Gynecologic Oncology
Associate Professor of Pathology in Obstetrics and Gynecology
Director, Ovarian Cancer Research Center
Director, Gynecologic Cancer Research
University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine
Keith Johnson, Ph.D.
Professor of Oral Biology
University of Nebraska Medical Center
Jose Conejo-Garcia, M.D., Ph.D.
Chair, Department of Immunology
Moffitt Cancer Center
William (Chad) Spanos, M.D.
Cisplatin mediated immune modulation of HPV positive head and neck cancer
Steven Powell, M.D.
The impact of PD-1 inhibition on immune-response to chemoradiotherapy
Samuel Milanovich, M.D.
Exploring the origins of childhood leukemia: investigating transcriptional networks in hematopoiesis and acute leukemia
Pilar de la Puente, Ph.D.
Role of tumor microenvironment on tumor progression, drug resistance, and immune escape
Paola Vermeer, Ph.D.
Subhash Chauhan, Ph.D.
Meena Jaggi, Ph.D.
John Lee, M.D.
Haotian Zhao, Ph.D.
Cancer CoBRE Symposium
April 4, 2019
Cancer CoBRE Symposium
April 27, 2018
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