The Signal Transduction and Therapeutics (STT) research program has 34 members drawn from four UCLA schools, representing 16 departments. The STT research program brings together basic scientists and clinicians to exchange information to further enhance the development of cancer therapies targeting growth signaling pathways, including signal transduction, cell cycle, and metabolism.
The STT research program is focused on robust translational studies that have repeatedly delivered practice-changing high impact research. Using commercially available compounds, there is an increased effort to harness STT research program discovery efforts to generate “in-house” compounds for clinical development. Additionally, the STT research program is leveraging its broad scientific base to link laboratory scientists with clinical investigators to help translate early observations into clinical opportunities and investigator-initiated studies. These include a special focus on malignancies with a high mortality in the Los Angeles County catchment area including breast, lung, and liver cancers.
The primary goal of the STT research program is to bring together basic scientists and clinicians to exchange information to further enhance the development of cancer therapies using signal transduction inhibitors. The research program is leveraging its broad scientific base to link laboratory scientists with clinical investigators to help translate early observations into clinical opportunities and investigator initiated studies with an increased effort on using UCLA-generated reagents to accomplish this.
The STT research program’s three specific aims are to:
- Develop and translate new therapies that target growth signaling pathways, including signal transduction, cell cycle, and metabolic pathways altered in cancer
- Facilitate interactions between bench and clinical research faculty to enhance the clinical translation of JCCC science
- Develop new therapeutics that improve the outcomes for patients living with cancer diagnoses with an increased prevalence and mortality in the Los Angeles County catchment area
Meetings and seminars
- Participation in the UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center seminar series that features invited outside and local faculty
- Quarterly meetings for new research program members to present their research
- Quarterly seminars given by members of the research program and by invited speakers from outside institutions
- Biannual mini-symposia on signal transduction and cancer therapeutics topics
Director Dr. Richard Finn is a Professor of Clinical Medicine in the Division of Hematology/Oncology. He has extensive experience in the use of pre-clinical models to guide clinical development. He currently splits his time between patient care and laboratory and clinical research. Finn is an internationally recognized leader in liver cancer and breast cancer research, having brought several clinical studies forward from laboratory-generated ideas. While working with Dr. Dennis Slamon in the Translational Oncology in Research Laboratory (TORL), he was directly involved in the studies that led to the development and global approval of CDK 4/6 inhibitors in breast cancer. He is the immediate past president of the International Liver Cancer Association (ILCA). He is a senior editor at Clinical Cancer Research, associate editor at Breast Cancer Research, on the editorial board of the Journal of Hepatology, and an ad hoc reviewer for The New England Journal of Medicine, Lancet, and Lancet Oncology.
Director Dr. Edward Garon focuses on correlative research in addition to clinical investigation. A major focus of his research is specimen banking from patients in the clinic. By using data generated from patients in the clinic who consent to correlative research projects, he uses the clinic as the main source of discovery to inform the clinical trials that he conducts. This research has led to first and last author clinical and biomarker manuscripts in high impact clinical journals such as New England Journal of Medicine and Lancet, as well as contributions to many high profile institutional and collaborative publications in high impact scientific journals. Although the specimen banking is of benefit across the institution, this type of research benefits greatly from interaction with outside institutions to avoid the biases seen at a single center. As a result, Garon’s research is frequently collaborative with outside centers. He has served on several committees with the American Society of Clinical Oncology, where he is currently on the cancer research committee. He is on the immunotherapy guideline committee for the Society of Immunotherapy of Cancer, the Scientific Advisory Board of advocacy group Lungevity, and has served on committees for NIH sponsored clinical trial consortiums and CTEP.
The following list is for upcoming events and seminars of notable interest to the Signal Transduction and Therapeutics Program and its members. This calendar is updated automatically.
For a list of all upcoming JCCC events (including other research programs, patients and survivors, and the UCLA Jonsson Cancer Center Foundation), please visit the Events Calendar.
JCCC Special Seminar featuring Dr. Cyrus Ghajar
Defining and exploiting hallmarks of disseminated breast tumor cell
- Date: March 21, 2022 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM
- Location: Boyer Hall 159
Los Angeles, California 90095
Cyrus Ghajar, PhD
Director, Laboratory for the Study of Metastatic Microenvironments
Associate Professor, Public Health Sciences Division and Translational Research Program
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
Dr. Cyrus Ghajar researches metastasis, or the spread of cancer cells to distant sites, and how the microenvironments of these sites (including bones) can put cancer cells to sleep, or wake them up. He also studies how the microenvironments within distant tissues regulate DTC dormancy and/or growth and whether these niches convey to dormant DTCs resistance to chemotherapy and immunotherapies. He believes that solving these puzzles will allow the development of drugs that eradicate dormant DTCs before they can develop into full-blown metastases.
Light lunch served
Sponsored by the UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center