Within the Division, there are 34 laboratories engaged in basic research. Of the $46.68 million in total research dollars secured by division faculty in FY 2016 (government, non-government, gifts, clinical trials, BJ and HHMI awards), $24.6 million in direct and indirect costs was earmarked for basic research efforts.

Team Science

A key mission of our program is to foster collaboration between clinical and basic investigators to develop innovative therapeutic approaches for cancers.  This commitment has led to Specialized Programs of Research Excellence (SPORE) awards from the NCI in leukemia, pancreatic cancer, and endometrial cancer, with efforts underway for SPOREs in brain cancer and breast cancer.  We also are recipients of a Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Specialized Center of Research Program (SCOR) in lymphoma, and we are one of four Edward P. Evans Centers for Myelodysplastic Syndromes in the country.  Oncology is also home to 11 U-type NIH awards focused on cancer “omics” in both solid tumor and hematological malignancies. 

Program Project Grant (PPG) in Leukemia

Principal Investigator: Timothy Ley, MD, Lewis T. and Rosalind B. Apple Chair in Oncology

5-year, $14.3 million grant, renewed consistently since 2003

Focus: Genetic alterations that trigger onset, progression, or relapse of acute myeloid leukemia.

Spore in Leukemia

Principal Investigator: Daniel Link, MD, Alan A. and Edith L. Wolff Distinguished Professor of Medicine

5-year, $12.2 million grant, awarded in 2013, last renewed in 2018

Focus: One of only three SPOREs in the country focused on translational research in acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS), including novel therapies and genomic research to predict chemotherapy responses. Research already has identified novel recurring mutations in MDS and AML.

Spore in Pancreatic Cancer

Principal Investigator: David DeNardo, Professor, Co-Director of Molecular Oncology

5-year, $10.9 million grant, awarded in 2016, renewed in 2023

Focus: Development of new treatments for pancreatic cancer, with a focus on characterizing mechanisms regulating immune response to pancreatic cancer and using this information to develop innovative therapies. 

Spore in Endometrial Cancer

Principal Investigator: David Mutch, Ira C. and Judith Gall Professor of Obstetrics & Gynecology

5-year, $11.6 million grant, awarded in 2023

Focus: Washington University School of Medicine is the lead institution of a national collaborative effort to find new treatments and prevention strategies for endometrial cancer.

Leukemia & Lymphoma Society SCOR in Lymphoma

Principal Investigator: Todd Fehniger, Professor, Co-director of the hematopoietic malignancy program of the Siteman Cancer Center

5-year, $5.0 million grant, awarded in 2023

Focus: Team science program to develop new immunotherapy treatments for patients with lymphomas.  This research includes engineered natural killer cells, healthy donor T-cell engineered to attack T cell lymphoma, and lymphoma-patient specific neoantigen immunotherapy.

Edward P. Evans Centers for Myelodysplastic Syndrome

Principal Investigator: Matthew Walter, Edward P. Evans Endowed Professor, Director, Section of Stem Cell Biology, Oncology

$5.0 million endowment grant 2019

Focus: One of four Edward P. Evans Centers for Myelodysplastic Syndromes in the country, this program supports innovative basic and translational research in MDS.