NCI-Designated Cancer Center at Sanford Burnham Prebys

One of only seven National Cancer Institute-designated Basic Laboratory Cancer Centers in the nation.
NCI-Designated Cancer Center Advisory Board group photo

Taking aim at cancer

“Our Cancer Center is committed to performing impactful translational multi-disciplinary research that addresses unmet clinical needs relevant to the diagnosis and treatment of cancer.”

– Ze'ev Ronai, Ph.D., Center Director

Director's Statement


Achieving our goals through collaboration

Our scientists are always looking for novel ideas, partners and new ways of doing groundbreaking research to target cancer.


Tumor Initiation and Maintenance Program

Understanding the cells that give rise to tumors and the signals allowing them to expand uncontrollably will help us learn how to defeat cancer.

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Cell and Molecular Biology of Cancer Program

Insights into the complex system of networks and mechanisms that tumors use to survive and proliferate will lead us to tumor-specific, less toxic therapies.

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Aging, Cancer and Immuno-oncology Program

We are studying the interplay among cancer cells, immune cells and their environment to put the brakes on cancer.

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Latest news


BI1071, a Novel Nur77 Modulator, Induces Apoptosis of Cancer Cells by Activating the Nur77-Bcl-2 Apoptotic Pathway.

Chen X, Cao X, Tu X, Alitongbieke G, Xia Z, Li X, Chen Z, Yin M, Xu D, Guo S, Li Z, Chen L, Zhang X, Xu D, Gao M, Liu J, Zeng Z, Zhou H, Su Y, Zhang XK

Mol Cancer Ther 2019 May ;18(5):886-899

The histone chaperone HIRA promotes the induction of host innate immune defences in response to HSV-1 infection.

McFarlane S, Orr A, Roberts APE, Conn KL, Iliev V, Loney C, da Silva Filipe A, Smollett K, Gu Q, Robertson N, Adams PD, Rai TS, Boutell C

PLoS Pathog 2019 Mar ;15(3):e1007667

Ubiquitin Ligases in Cancer Immunotherapy - Balancing Antitumor and Autoimmunity.

Fujita Y, Tinoco R, Li Y, Senft D, Ronai ZA

Trends Mol Med 2019 May ;25(5):428-443

The role of the PZP domain of AF10 in acute leukemia driven by AF10 translocations.

Klein BJ, Deshpande A, Cox KL, Xuan F, Zandian M, Barbosa K, Khanal S, Tong Q, Zhang Y, Zhang P, Sinha A, Bohlander SK, Shi X, Wen H, Poirier MG, Deshpande AJ, Kutateladze TG

Nat Commun 2021 Jul 5 ;12(1):4130

iRGD-liposomes enhance tumor delivery and therapeutic efficacy of antisense oligonucleotide drugs against primary prostate cancer and bone metastasis.

Guan J, Guo H, Tang T, Wang Y, Wei Y, Seth P, Li Y, Dehm SM, Ruoslahti E, Pang HB

Adv Funct Mater 2021 Jun 9 ;31(24)

GSAP regulates lipid homeostasis and mitochondrial function associated with Alzheimer's disease.

Xu P, Chang JC, Zhou X, Wang W, Bamkole M, Wong E, Bettayeb K, Jiang LL, Huang T, Luo W, Xu H, Nairn AC, Flajolet M, Ip NY, Li YM, Greengard P

J Exp Med 2021 Aug 2 ;218(8)

IL-6 contributes to metastatic switch via the differentiation of monocytic-dendritic progenitors into prometastatic immune cells.

Magidey-Klein K, Cooper TJ, Kveler K, Normand R, Zhang T, Timaner M, Raviv Z, James BP, Gazit R, Ronai ZA, Shen-Orr S, Shaked Y

J Immunother Cancer 2021 Jun ;9(6)

A cancer mutation promotes EphA4 oligomerization and signaling by altering the conformation of the SAM domain.

Light TP, Gomez-Soler M, Wang Z, Karl K, Zapata-Mercado E, Gehring MP, Lechtenberg BC, Pogorelov TV, Hristova K, Pasquale EB

J Biol Chem 2021 Jun 15 ;297(1):100876

P32-specific CAR T cells with dual antitumor and antiangiogenic therapeutic potential in gliomas.

Rousso-Noori L, Mastandrea I, Talmor S, Waks T, Globerson Levin A, Haugas M, Teesalu T, Alvarez-Vallina L, Eshhar Z, Friedmann-Morvinski D

Nat Commun 2021 Jun 14 ;12(1):3615

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