The Translational Research in Solid Tumors (TRIST) Program is a newly established, highly interactive and productive program. The program consists of accomplished faculty conducting translational studies centered on the themes of molecular and cell biology, early diagnosis, prognosis, risk factors, therapeutics and treatment of cancer of the aerodigestive tract, dermatologic, gastrointestinal, genitourinary and neuro-oncologic cancers.
The Program Leader is Marcus Peter, PhD and the Co-Leader is Al Benson III, MD are both eminent investigators with distinguished careers in cancer research, whose skills and expertise complement each other. The overall goal of the TRIST Program is to coordinate and enhance the interactions among researchers in the area of solid cancers at Northwestern University.
TRIST members have multiple interests and expertise that revolve around a number of focus areas. These include the study of the function and the therapeutic use of siRNAs and miRNAs, the development of nanoparticles for delivery of drugs and oligonucleotides to solid cancers, the role of cancer stem cells in tumor progression, the role of angiogenesis in cancer progression, the study of the balance of cell survival and cell death in solid cancers and the study of the tumor microenvironment of solid cancers.
The interdisciplinary TRIST Program consists of 70 faculty representing 16 departments and 3 schools. Between August 2007 and July 2012, there were 1,358 cancer-relevant publications from the current TRIST Program members. Two hundred eighty (20.6%) of these publications represent intra-programmatic collaborations and 269 (19.8%) of these publications represent inter-programmatic collaborations.
Total current cancer relevant peer reviewed funding for the TRIST Program is $9,962,536 (direct) with $5,380,925 (direct) from NCI, and $4,581,611 (direct) from other peer reviewed sources.
The Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center provides the necessary infrastructure to further develop investigators productivity in solid tumor research including pathologic/clinical patient sample banks for brain tumors, colorectal cancer, lung cancer, pancreatic malignancies and prostate cancer. The interactions between investigators, which are facilitated by the TRIST Program, are synergistic and essential for multidisciplinary intra- and inter-programmatic translational cancer research.
The goals of the Translational Research in Solid Tumors Program are:
- To characterize basic molecular mechanisms of cancer development and progression and identify novel targets for therapy
- To develop preclinical animal models to test novel therapeutics to treat solid cancers
- To initiate and conduct clinical studies to test and validate novel approaches and technologies for the treatment of solid cancers