Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University in Atlanta, GA was granted formal approval from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to realign the four research programs funded by its NCI Cancer Center Support Grant. The goal—capitalize on growing strengths; drive even greater to the patient.
A new Cancer Immunology (CI) Research Program builds on its growing strengths
The reorganization was sought to leverage the organization’s growing strength in its cancer immunology to integrate immunology research across Emory University and formed led to a new Cancer Immunology (CI) Research program. Winship had already declared cancer immunology as high priority and consequently its portfolio of immunology and immunotherapy-related research has flourished. The program will now be headed by Madhav Dhodapkar, MBBS (joined in 2018 as inaugural director of the Winship Center for Cancer Immunology), and Rafi Ahmed, PhD, director of the Emory Vaccine Center will helm the new program which will also include translational physicians and scientists at Winship as well as from the Emory Vaccine Center and the Department of Immunology and Microbiology.
The Cell and Molecular Biology (CMB) Research Program, born out of this realignment, centers on cancer cell metabolism, cancer cell stress and survival, mechanisms of invasion and metastasis and gene regulation—and the organization will be led by Jing Chen, PhD and Wei Zhou, PhD. Now members of the former Cancer Cell Biology and Cancer Genetics and Epigenetics programs will migrate to the new CI and CMB programs. The other two Winship research programs continue under the same names: Discovery and Developmental Therapeutics (DDT) Research Program led by Haian Fu, PhD, and Taofeek Owonikoko, MD, PhD, MSCR and the Cancer Prevention and Control (CPC) Research Program led by Timothy L. Lash, DSc, MPH and Mylin Torres, MD.
Kimberly F. Kerstann, PhD, senior director for research administration, commented on the positive attributes of this initiative, saying that “This realignment will open up more collaborative possibilities for our faculty and focus our efforts on research that advances cancer discoveries.”
Winship Cancer Institute is Georgia’s only National Cancer Institute-Designated Comprehensive Cancer Center and serves as the coordinating center for cancer research, education, and care throughout Emory University. Winship serves community members of Georgia, the Southeast and beyond—its staff work tirelessly to prevent, treat and cure cancer.