University of California San Francisco
Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center

About Experimental Therapeutics

L.Lanier Program Leader Pamela Munster, MD
L.Fong Program Co-Leader Charles S. Craik, PhD

The overarching goal of the Experimental Therapeutics Program is to discover and validate therapeutic targets and subsequently identify, develop, and test novel therapeutic strategies and biomarkers.

The Experimental Therapeutics Program conducts research under two main themes:
  • Theme 1: Targeting signal transduction in cancer
  • Theme 2: Targeting epigenetic modulation, cellular homeostasis, and the tumor environment

The wide range of expertise of the Program members will mutually enrich and complement the discoveries of individual investigators with the overall Program goal being to accelerate the transition from drug discovery to the approval of more effective and less toxic drugs for patients with cancer. Research in the Program spans a breadth of areas, including drug discovery, cell signaling, molecular pathology, bioimaging, and pharmacogenomics, as well as clinical and population science.

The Experimental Therapeutics Program capitalizes on the synergy between multiple programs and a dynamic, Early Phase Clinical Trials Unit. Program Members have wide-ranging interests and expertise in basic studies including drug discovery and preclinical testing to technology development and early phase clinical trials. Due to the dual membership of several members in other Programs in the Center, there is an easy transition from an early phase clinical trial to disease-specific phase II trials in the Breast Oncology, Prostate Cancer, Hematopoietic Malignancies, and Neurologic Oncology Programs. Similarly, the dual membership of many of the basic scientists fosters wide-ranging collaborations across many scientific discoveries and facilitates the rapid transition into clinical trials.