Molecular Oncology Program

Program Leaders

Jeffrey Toretsky, MD

Program Overview

The Molecular Oncology (MO) Program at Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center brings together investigators whose mission is to identify and validate molecular pathways critical to the initiation, progression, maintenance and metastases of cancer.

MO specifically investigates those aspects of cancer that clearly differentiate cancer from non-cancer cells. The goal is to validate targets, identify the most critical pathways and create novel probes that will lead to a transition for clinical trials with either established or novel agents.

Key accomplishments in this Program include the discovery of a novel small molecule that targets an oncogenic fusion protein, the finding of STAG2 as a regulator of chromosomal integrity that is deleted in many cancers, and a novel method to chemically reprogram cancer cells.

The Program has 17 full members and 22 associate members. MO has assembled an outstanding group of investigators who approach the most fundamental aspects of biology, but do so through the lens of cancer models.

This Program was developed to address three interconnected themes:

Theme 1: Unique genomic events that initiate and sustain cancer growth;
Theme 2: The immortal lives of cancer cells;
Theme 3: Metastatic mechanisms that allow the spread of cancer.


Chris Albanese, PhD
Maria Laura Avantaggiati, , MD
Partha Banerjee, PhD
Yong-Sik Bong, PhD
Stephen W. Byers, PhD
Fung-Lung Chung, PhD
Elliott Crooke, PhD
Albert J. Fornace, MD
Usha N. Kasid, PhD
Joanna Kitlinska, PhD
Vicente Notario, PhD 
Rabindra Roy, PhD
Richard C. Schlegel, MD, PhD
Jeffrey Toretsky, MD (Program Leader)
Aykut Uren, MD
Todd Waldman, MD, PhD
Chungling Yi, PhD