The Molecular Cancer Research Chair Initiative


By understanding the molecular circuitry of cells, we can develop rational, customized, and individualized treatments for cancer. More and more, oncologists have come to understand that it is the molecular characteristics of a cancer that determine its response to treatment – not necessarily how it looks under a microscope. The focus of this program is to contribute to our understanding of how mutations and environmental stresses can cause normal cells to become cancerous. The primary goal is to develop new strategies for cancer therapy that will help to revolutionize the field of oncology. The fundamental nature of our program means that our findings have significant relevance to several cancers including those of the skin, breast, colon, and stomach. For example, Dr. Al Fornace and his colleagues have discovered new genes and proteins that can be "hijacked" by a cancer, forcing it to deactivate key processes that protect from cancer. Dr. Fornace has already discovered molecules capable of reversing these cancer-causing effects. This has important therapeutic potential in treatment of multiple different cancers, as well as in cancer prevention.


Dr. Albert J. Fornace Jr. is the first recipient of the Molecular Cancer Research Chair at the Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center. He was recruited to Georgetown University in 2006 from the Harvard School of Public Health, where he served as Director of the John B. Little Center. Previously, Dr. Fornace spent 25 years conducting research at the National Cancer Institute. Dr. Fornace holds eight patents for technologies to develop therapeutic targets and models for cancer treatment and prevention. He has published over 325 scientific papers and is ranked in the top 1% of cited life science researchers.


The Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, part of Georgetown University Medical Center and Georgetown University Hospital, seeks to improve the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of cancer through innovative basic and clinical research, patient care, community education and outreach, and the training of cancer specialists of the future. Lombardi is one of only 50 comprehensive cancer centers in the nation, as designated by the National Cancer Institute, and the only one in the Washington, DC, area.

To learn more about the Molecular Cancer Research Chair Initiative, call (202) 687-3101 or write to:

Molecular Cancer Research Chair Initiative

Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center

E504 New Research Bldg.

3970 Reservoir Rd. NW

Washington, DC 20057-1468

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