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Research Program - Developmental Cancer Therapeutics

Program Mission

To enable researchers to discover and develop new drugs to treat cancer. Chemotherapeutic drugs provide basic scientists with knowledge of cancer mechanisms, clinicians with weapons to treat the disease, and patients with hope. Drug development unites all who are involved in the fight against cancer.

Program Focus

The path to develop new cancer drugs begins with screening of chemical libraries for a physical or biochemical interaction with a biological target. Once initial hits are identified, these lead compounds are improved by generating and testing more specialized libraries, in a process often aided by computational modeling. Finally, the most potent compounds are determined by quantitative measurements of binding affinity. The program provides resources to facilitate this procedure from beginning to end. Core instruments are designed to detect and quantify binding of drugs to a variety of biological targets, from high-throughput screening to precise determination of individual binding constants. The program gives users access to chemical libraries that represent a diversity of bioactive scaffolds from which drugs can be built. Core computers and software packages allow researchers to virtually dock the drugs to their targets, and to explore strategies for optimizing their interaction. This information is integrated with structural, biochemical, and in vivo data generated by Upstate researchers and clinicians. The end result is a constant pipeline of new drugs to bring to clinical trials and to treat cancer patients.


Stewart Loh, PhD
Stewart Loh, PhD

Biochemistry & Molecular Biology

Juntao Luo, PhD
Juntao Luo, PhD


See all program members