Research Goals

Capitalize on existing strengths in cancer research to develop programmatic linkages to in vivo and clinical research.

Basic cancer research at Cornell University, and in particular, the College of Veterinary Medicine, encompasses a variety of topics that include:

  • studies of cell cycle dynamics,
  • receptor-linked signal transduction in normal and transformed cells,
  • factors that influence the organ preference of metastatic tumor cells,
  • development of novel drugs from natural products,
  • vector or isotope delivery systems,
  • the influence of viral agents on the induction and progression of cancer
  • and many other areas.

Approximately 35-40 faculty have been identified within the Cornell community that have cancer-related research interests. Currently there are 10 faculty at Cornell with NCI-sponsored projects and numerous others with NIH-, or federally-sponsored individual research projects directly related to cancer research. Annual direct funds devoted to cancer research are in excess of $5 million. An NCI-sponsored cancer biology training grant has been continuously funded through investigators at the CVM for over 10 years. A facilities support grant from NCI to support a high-level recombinant protein production facility and a block grant from The American Cancer Society for startup funding of young faculty are pending.

An important component of the development of the Cancer Center will be its connection to the recent, University-wide initiatives in Chemistry and Chemical Biology, and in Genomics at Cornell. The Genomics Initiative is a campus-wide undertaking to develop a variety of genetic/transgenic systems to study fundamental biological activities and to establish animal model systems that can be used to study both human and animal diseases. Our plan is to develop mouse model systems as an important interface between the basic biochemical and cell biology-based research efforts and the clinical studies of animal cancers (i.e. in the dog and cat) centered at the Veterinary College. Development of a close working relationship with other members of the Cornell Research community is also expected. The College of Engineering, Department of Nutritional Sciences, The Institute of Comparative and Environmental Toxicology, The Breast Cancer and Environmental Risk Factor Program and The Ward Center for Nuclear Sciences have noteworthy programs in cancer research and collaborations will develop in the near future.