Cross-Cutting Initiatives

Georgetown Lombardi has identified five crosscutting initiatives to guide its work as an NCI-designated comprehensive cancer center:

Data Science

Recognizing the critical role of large, complex data sets to the cancer center’s research progress, Georgetown Lombardi launched the Innovation Center for Biomedical Informatics (ICBI) as an academic hub for innovative research in this field. Led by Adil Alaoui, MS, the ICBI is a national leader in data science, clinical informatics and health IT and offers expertise in precision medicine, molecular dynamics for drug development, and EHR data governance, standardization and utilization for observational studies to Georgetown Lombardi as well as government agencies and early stage startup companies. ICBI’s core competency in health data science, advanced innovative technical capabilities and its track record of research accomplishments are well demonstrated in its contribution to science, high impact publications, and leadership of large biomedical programs impacting human health. Rapid access to diverse health data sources that include outpatient, inpatient, labs, imaging and other datasets, combined with methods and tools developed in-house, enables ICBI to quickly query real-world clinical and research data to provide data insights and improve patient outcomes. ICBI works with compliance, data governance offices and institutional review boards to ensure information security, patient confidentiality and HIPAA-compliant data access protocols. Learn more about ICBI’s data science work. Learn more about ICBI’s data science work.


Because of the increasing role of immunotherapy in cancer treatment and the need to further develop this discipline, Georgetown Lombardi leadership expanded this research focus by creating a joint collaboration between Lombardi and John Theurer Cancer Center. Georgetown Lombardi is home to one of the country’s most renowned immunotherapy researchers, Michael Atkins, MD, who with investigators from both institutions is leading novel clinical trials both nationally and locally. Georgetown Lombardi identified immunotherapy as a cross-cutting initiative in 2015.

Minority Health and Health Disparities

This initiative was first developed in 2008 under the leadership of Lucile Adams-Campbell, PhD, to address disparities in cancer outcomes among non-Latino Black populations in the Greater D.C. area. Today, its mission is to facilitate, stimulate and promote synergy in addressing the biological and environmental basis of cancer health disparities via research, training, communication and education. Through the work of the Office of Minority Health and Health Disparities, Georgetown Lombardi has developed research programs addressing many of the dominant challenges that racial and ethnic minority populations face in its D.C. service area, and has extended clinical trial offerings to fully engage underserved communities.

Precision Medicine

At Georgetown Lombardi, “precision medicine” means employing molecular and/or clinical biomarkers to effectively match tumors and patients to therapies to improve outcomes and minimize toxicity. Precision medicine brings theory to practice, from mathematical modeling and cellular and in vivo models to the creation of clinical interventions and the assessment of those interventions on patient outcomes. The Innovation Center for Biomedical Informatics (ICBI) drives precision medicine research at Georgetown Lombardi. Learn more about ICBI’s precision medicine work.


As the psychosocial and physical aspects of cancer survivorship become better understood, cancer centers are striving to provide state-of-the-art care and conduct relevant research for survivors. Led by Nina Kadan-Lottick, MD, MSPH, this initiative strives to better understand the needs of Washington, D.C.-area cancer survivors and improve our understanding of ways to intervene. Strengthened by multidisciplinary collaborations with clinicians, basic scientists and population scientists, this research has the potential to transform patient care. At present, research efforts include interventions to improve survivor and caregiver outcomes, and survivorship following the use of innovative therapies. Georgetown Lombardi is expanding our survivorship research efforts in the D.C. area and in New Jersey with our research partners at John Theurer Cancer Center (JTCC). Georgetown Lombardi has also established clinical cancer survivorship programs at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital and MedStar Washington Hospital Center. These activities will be expanded across the MedStar Georgetown Cancer Institute survivorship research activity at JTCC. Find out more about the work of the Survivorship Research Initiative.