Translational Oncology (TO) Research Program

If you would like to be added to the mailing list for the MCO Program and receive meeting dates and times, please contact MCO program leaders Dr. Jill Kolesar and Dr. Susanne Arnold.

The TO Research Program is scientifically focused on enhancing the translation of MCC science into impactful clinical trials for our catchment area. We accomplish this though validating mechanistic targets in clinically relevant model systems, developing new anticancer agents and devices, advancing these therapies to novel early phase clinical trials and training the next generation of clinician scientists.

The TO program vision is to understand the unique molecular and phenotypic markers of cancer in Kentucky, as well as barriers to accessing care, and to integrate that knowledge to inform drug discovery, development and delivery of early phase clinical trial efforts for an Appalachian Kentucky population that can be difficult to reach.

The TO program has three thematic areas:

  1. MCC investigators are international leaders in validating mechanistic targets, with ongoing efforts to advance validated targets into preclinical development.
  2. TO program translational scientists work to re-purpose, discover and develop new anticancer agents targeting validated targets.
  3. TO program investigators lead clinical trials focusing on cancers relevant to the catchment area and enroll over 1000 patients annually to interventional cancer trials.

Program Leadership

Monthly Meetings

TO program members join clinical cancer and research teams of interest to increase clinical translation and have joint program meetings with MCO and CP members to enhance collaborations across the spectrum of cancer research

Interest Groups

MCO members participate in a variety of discussion groups that span the cancer center’s interest and include members from multiple research programs. In particular, MCO members are instrumental members of: the cancer center's translational science groups, disease teams, immuno-oncology and drug repurposing programs.

Markey Cancer Center is NCI-designated

The UK Markey Cancer Center was first designated by the National Cancer Institute in 2013 – a distinction that recognizes our extraordinary ability to provide world-class care for our patients. We are the only NCI-designated cancer center in Kentucky and one of only 71 in the nation.