In addition to formal scientific programs, the Stephenson Cancer Center (SCC) houses a number of research centers funded by the NIH and other sponsors that serve to focus collaborative research around specific thematic areas. Because of their transdisciplinary nature, these research centers help to promote collaborations among members in different SCC research programs. Current SCC research centers are:
Center for Cancer Prevention and Drug Development
The goal of the NIH-funded Center for Cancer Prevention and Drug Development (CCPDD) is to eliminate benign or recurrent tumors before they can become cancerous and spread throughout a person's body. To accomplish this goal, the CCPDD is studying how risk factors increase the development and progression of tumors. The knowledge gained is used to devise and test strategies to prevent cancer in preclinical models. These strategies include drugs that target specific molecules shown to drive cancer development and progression, and also drugs that stimulate the immune system to eliminate tumor cells. The CCPDD has a unique combination of molecular and cellular biologists, pharmacologists, pathologists, veterinary scientists, immunologists, nutritionists, natural product and medicinal chemists, and clinicians who conduct translational research trials. This multidisciplinary team facilitates the identification of risk factors and drug targets, the development of prevention strategies, and the design and conduct of successful clinical prevention trials.
Oklahoma Tobacco Research Center
The mission of the Oklahoma Tobacco Research Center (OTRC) is to reduce, and ultimately eliminate, tobacco-related morbidity and mortality in Oklahoma through research that informs interventions and policies with a particular emphasis on addressing tobacco-related health disparities. The goals of the OTRC are to: 1) to be a leading tobacco research program with a focus on the entire translational continuum – from the discovery of basic mechanisms of tobacco use, cessation and relapse, to the development and evaluation of novel tobacco treatments, to the dissemination and implementation of treatments, policies and education throughout Oklahoma; 2) to effectively and efficiently deliver state-of-the-science, evidence-based tobacco treatment to Oklahomans throughout the state; and 3) to train the next generation of tobacco researchers. The OTRC is housed in the SCC and is funded by a grant from the Oklahoma Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust (TSET).
NIGMS P20: Mentoring Translational Cancer Research in Oklahoma
The goal of the NIH-funded Center of Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE) is to enhance cancer research and infrastructure in Oklahoma, focused on a theme of mentoring translational research. The program supports four Promising Junior Investigators (PJIs), each of whom are paired with a mentoring team of NIH-funded scientists. The PJIs work on an independent research project, funded by the COBRE grant, with the goal of submitting an NIH or other national peer-reviewed grant at the end of their mentorship terms.