Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
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Translational Research in Solid Tumors

The Translational Research in Solid Tumors (TRIST) program consists of accomplished faculty conducting basic and translational studies centered on the themes of molecular mechanisms of cancer initiation and progression, translation of basic science and preclinical discoveries into early diagnosis, biomarkers, and cancer therapeutics. The TRIST program brings together clinical, translational, and basic science investigators, sharing the common mission of accelerating the development of new therapeutic and diagnostic strategies to improve the outcomes of patients with solid tumors. TRIST investigators conduct translational research centered on the themes of molecular and cell biology of cancer, prognostic and predictive biomarkers, and aiming to develop novel strategies for the treatment of solid tumors.

Scientific Aims

  1. Identify and characterize novel cellular targets based on insights into molecular mechanisms of cancer initiation and progression
  2. Test new therapeutic approaches in clinically relevant animal models of cancer
  3. Translate scientific discoveries and preclinical models into novel diagnostic, prognostic, and therapeutic strategies

Program Leaders

  • Marcus Peter, PhD, studies mechanisms of cell death and how cancer cells can be driven into programmed cell death.
  • Jeffrey Sosman, MD, is widely recognized for his initiatives to bring translational medicine to melanoma therapy
  • Daniela Matei, MD, is a leading physician-scientist who has contributed significantly to improving the treatment of ovarian cancer.

Research Initiatives & Grants


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.