Professor, Medicine, Hematology Oncology Division; Feinberg School of Medicine
Cancer Prevention,TRIST-Prostate/Genitourinary Cancers
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Dr. Bergan is a physician/scientist. Within the Cancer Center he serves as the Director of Experimental Therapeutics and as Leader of the Prevention Program. He also serves as Co-Director of the Northwestern Center for Molecular Innovation and Drug Discovery. His research focuses upon understanding the molecular pathways responsible for regulating transformation of human prostate cancer cells to an invasive and ultimately a metastatic phenotype. These studies involve the conduct of basic cell and molecular biology, and the translation of these findings into pathophysiologically relevant animal models, several of which were developed by his group, as well as the analysis of clinical specimens. A related research focus of his lab relates to therapeutically targeting and inhibiting those pathways which drive transformation to a metastatic phenotype. These studies involve basic drug discovery efforts, which are carried out in close collaborative efforts with colleagues in the Department of Chemistry. Further, studies go on to examine the molecular pharmacology of active compounds, and do so in the context of the model systems mentioned above. Preclinical therapeutic findings are then taken by Dr. Bergan into early phase clinical trials which examine cell and molecular biomarker-based as well as clinical endpoints. Through his Directorship of a NIH supported phase I and phase II chemoprevention program, Dr. Bergan has provided an avenue for the conduct of several early phase trials of putative prostate cancer chemoprevention agents developed by other investigators. Further, Dr. Bergan is an active member of the Northwestern Prostate SPORE Program. Finally, Dr. Bergan serves as Co-Director of the Northwestern Center for Molecular Innovation and Drug Discovery. Through CMIDD several anti-prostate cancer agents are being refined and developed. Future goals include enhancing the understanding of molecular transformation, advancing current lead compounds from his lab through pre-IND studies and into early phase clinical trials, and helping other investigators leverage their understanding of prostate cancer biology to discover and develop novel therapeutic approaches.