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The Wistar Institute Cancer Center

The first National Cancer Institute-designated Cancer Center in the nation for basic research since 1972.

Cancer Center

The mission of The Wistar Institute Cancer Center is to merge basic, translational and disease-relevant cancer research in a single scientific continuum with focus on cancer prevention, diagnosis and therapy. The Cancer Center has a history of significant advances in cancer genetics, cancer biology, tumor immunology, and virology, including the identification of genes associated with different tumor types, the development of monoclonal antibodies used to study pathways and proteins involved in tumor development, and contributions to improved cancer treatments and diagnostic tests.

The Wistar Institute Cancer Center is structured into three research programs. Taking an interdisciplinary approach to cancer research, our scientists are working to advance knowledge in the following areas:

  • The molecular pathways underlying some of the most prevalent and deadly types of cancer, to develop new targeted therapies and move forward in the direction of personalized cancer treatment
  • The crosstalk between tumor cells and the tumor microenvironment and how it orchestrates tumor progression and response to therapy
  • Cancer genomics and epigenetics
  • The mechanisms of therapy resistance and how they can be overcome
  • Tumor immunology and immunotherapy
  • Tumor cell metabolism and how it affects metastatic competence

Leadership

The leadership of the Cancer Center, supported by internal advisory committees and the Cancer Center External Advisory Board, develops the Center’s goals and leads in the implementation of strategic directives. In addition, the Institute's External Advisory Board meets yearly to review the Center’s programs and plans for recruitment and research.

Senior Leaders

Dario C. Altieri, M.D., Director
Rugang Zhang, Ph.D., Deputy Director

Research Program Leaders

Gene Expression and Regulation Program

Program Leader: Paul M. Lieberman, Ph.D.
Program Co-Leader: Rugang Zhang, Ph.D.

Molecular and Cellular Oncogenesis Program

Program Leader: Maureen Murphy, Ph.D.
Program Co-Leader: David W. Speicher, Ph.D.

Immunology, Microenvironment and Metastasis Program

Program Leader: Dmitry I. Gabrilovich, M.D., Ph.D.
Program Co-Leader: Ashani Weeraratna, Ph.D.

Associate and Assistant Directors

Luis J. Montaner, D.V.M., D.Phil., Associate Director for Shared Resources
Marianne M. O’Neill, Associate Director for Cancer Center Support Grant Finances
Nicholas J. Petrelli, M.D., Associate Director for Translational Research
Lisa Sideras, Associate Director for Cancer Center Administration
Brian Keith, Ph.D., Associate Director for Education
Mark Drinker, Assistant Director for Shared Resources

Cancer Center External Advisory Board

The Wistar Institute Cancer Center's External Advisory Board meets yearly to review the Center’s programs and plans for recruitment and research.

Chair

Michelle M. Le Beau, Ph.D.
Director, The University of Chicago Comprehensive Cancer Center
Director, Cancer Cytogenetics Laboratory
Professor of Medicine, Section of Hematology/Oncology

Members

Lewis C. Cantley, Ph.D.
Director, Meyer Cancer Center at Weill Cornell Medical College/Ronald P. Stanton Clinical Program at New York-Presbyterian Hospital
Professor of Cancer Biology in Medicine

Robert B. Diasio, M.D.
Director, Mayo Clinic Cancer Center
William J. and Charles H. Mayo Professor
Consultant and Professor of Molecular Pharmacology
& Experimental Therapeutics and Oncology

William G. Nelson, M.D., Ph.D.
Director, Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins
Marion I. Knott Director and Professor of Oncology

Jordan S. Pober, M.D., Ph.D.
Director, Human and Translational Immunology Program, Yale University
Vice Chair, Department of Immunobiology for the Section of Human and Translational Immunology
Bayer Professor of Translational Medicine and Professor of Immunobiology, Pathology and Dermatology

Cynthia L. Quense, M.P.A.
Assistant Director for Administration, Koch Institute for Integrated Cancer Research, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Contact Us

For more information on The Wistar Institute Cancer Center, please contact:

Lisa Sideras
The Wistar Institute
3601 Spruce Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104
215-898-3192
lsideras@wistar.org

CEO Cancer Gold Standard

Wistar Celebrates 10 Years as a CEO Cancer Gold Standard Employer

Wistar is committed to spreading awareness about cancer prevention among its employees. The accreditation recognizes employers who prioritize workplace wellness initiatives and a commitment to a tobacco-free work environment.