Lombardi At a Glance

Research

History | Leadership | Patient Care | Research | Education | Community

Today, Lombardi receives more than $100 million in research grants, there are nearly 200 full-time faculty members and 220 ongoing clinical trials. There are six established research programs at Lombardi:

  • The Breast Cancer Research Program consists of faculty members working exclusively on finding a cure for breast cancer. The program is aligned with the Nina Hyde Center for Breast Cancer Research, which was established in 1989 to be the focal point of Lombardi's breast cancer activity. Founded by fashion designer Ralph Lauren and the late Washington Post Company president Katharine Graham, the center honors their friend Nina Hyde, fashion editor of The Washington Post from 1972 until her death of breast cancer in 1990. The Nina Hyde Center continues to be one of the foremost breast cancer research programs in the world and promotes crucial research seeking better methods of diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of breast cancer.

  • The Cancer Prevention and Control Program conducts research across the range of the cancer control process from risk factors and prevention, through early detection, to treatment and survivorship. Lombardi's program is unique in its inclusion of populations across the lifespan - from childhood to older age - and translation from the cellular to the societal policy level. The overall goal of the program is to develop, evaluate and disseminate innovative cancer control interventions designed to reduce the incidence, morbidity and mortality from cancer among high-risk populations.

  • The Experimental Therapeutics Program is a comprehensive translational research program with the major mission of new drug and target discovery for cancer. The program is organized as a drug development "pipeline" with expertise in drug and target discovery, the performance of innovative early Phase clinical research, and disease-specific Phase II and III clinical research.

A new initiative in Drug Discovery is allowing researchers across Lombardi and Georgetown University Medical Center to harness the power of molecular medicine. "Dr. Drug Discovery," Milton Brown, MD, PhD, was recruited in 2006 to lead the initiative. Using a rational process for discovery that includes drug design, synthesis, and evaluation, Dr. Brown and his team of medicinal chemists, are developing small molecules with potential therapeutic properties against druggable molecular targets with applications to cancers and neurological diseases.

Recent Achievements

Lucile L. Adams-Campbell, PhD, Lombardi's associate director for minority health and health disparities research, was elected to the Institute of Medicine (IOM) in October, 2008. Membership in the IOM is considered one of the highest honors in the fields of health and medicine and recognizes individuals who have demonstrated outstanding professional achievements and commitment to service. Dr. Adams-Campbell is an epidemiologist, specializing in community health research, interventions, and outreach, and has played a leading role in the Washington, DC, cancer and public health community.

For over twenty years, researchers at Lombardi have been instrumental in the development of the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine, the first vaccine to prevent cervical cancer approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Research led by Dr. Richard Schlegel was instrumental in the development of the vaccine, which is the first preventive treatment for any cancer. The vaccine prevents infection by HPV which causes nearly all cervical cancers worldwide and is the number two cause of cancer death among women. Dr. Schlegel is also a member of the team which received a $3.5 million award from the Gates Foundation to continue developing a new inexpensive, portable HPV vaccine.

Lombardi initiated some of the first clinical trials to test anticancer vaccines. Dr. John Marshall and colleagues have completed an encouraging Phase 1 trial of the TRICOM vaccine, an experimental therapy manufactured by the Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Therion Corp. The vaccine uses a live virus to deliver four genes, which strengthen the immune system and stimulate the production of cancer-fighting T-cells. Phase 2 and 3 trials are ongoing.

 

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