Salk Cancer Center

NCI Cancer Center Council - C3

Salk Institute for Biological Studies - Salk Cancer Center - NCI Cancer Center Council - C3

NCI Cancer Center Council – C3

Message from Tony Hunter – Salk C3 founding member and Cancer Center Director (2008-2016) »

San Diego NCI Cancer Center Council combines local centers’ strengths.

March 06, 2013 UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center, Salk Institute for Biological Studies and Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute come together in novel collaboration 

San Diego is a powerhouse for cancer research, home to the University of California, San Diego Moores Cancer Center – the region’s only National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated comprehensive cancer center – and two NCI-designated centers for basic research: the Salk Institute Cancer Center and the Cancer Center at Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute.

These singular enterprises have now formed a novel collaboration – the San Diego National Cancer Institute Cancer Centers Council, or C3 – to leverage their distinct and combined resources and talents.

The NCI designation means these three cancer centers are already among the best in the nation. They are moving forward with a formalized structure to facilitate collaborations in key areas. This new partnership will allow San Diego’s cancer researchers to accelerate the understanding of and innovative treatments for cancer, the nation’s second leading cause of death.

“San Diego’s cancer centers are rapidly unlocking the genetic and molecular mechanisms involved in cancer and are in the vanguard of a new era in cancer science,” said Tony Hunter, PhD, director of the Salk Institute Cancer Center and American Cancer Society Professor. “The C3 partnership will allow us to build on the city’s foundation of groundbreaking cancer research and harness our collective strengths to produce the next generation of therapies.”

“The mission of C3 is to both exploit and create collaborative opportunities that can only happen in a place like San Diego, with so many exceptional cancer scientists and physicians,” said Scott Lippman, MD, director of UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center and Chugai Pharmaceutical Chair in Cancer Research. “Our goal is to build a structure for increased interaction among the cancer center faculties, leading to a deeper understanding of cancer and, ultimately, more and better treatments.”

“We are in the midst of a transformative decade in cancer research – one in which we have tools like whole-genome sequencing, high-throughput drug screening and nanotechnology to personalize cancer treatments, delivering medicines where they’ll do the most good and the least harm. This new partnership will better position all San Diego cancer researchers to get there faster,” said Kristiina Vuori, MD, PhD, Sanford-Burnham’s president, interim CEO and Cancer Center director.

Among C3’s goals:

  • Greater interaction between the cancer centers—clinical, translational, basic science and educational—with increased joint faculty appointments.
  • Enhanced collaborative research efforts, with members sharing resources in such areas as bioinformatics, genomics, clinical trials (at UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center) and data storage.
  • Organized initiatives, such as symposia, conferences and forums, that expand and deepen scientific and public understanding of cancer and advance the field.

Founding members:

  • Scott Lippman, MD (UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center)
  • Tony Hunter, PhD (Salk Institute for Biological Studies)
  • Kristiina Vuori, MD, PhD (Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute)
  • Barbara Parker, MD (Moores Cancer Center)
  • David Cheresh, PhD (Moores Cancer Center)
  • Geoffrey Wahl, PhD (Salk Institute for Biological Studies)
  • Ze’ev Ronai, PhD (Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute)