Basic Research in Oncology

Within the Division, there are 34 laboratories engaged in basic research. Of the $46.68 million in total research dollars secured by division faculty in FY 2016 (government, non-government, gifts, clinical trials, BJ and HHMI awards), $24.6 million in direct and indirect costs was earmarked for basic research efforts.

Oncology Award Types


SPORE and PPG in Leukemia Research

Efforts to understand the genetic and molecular basis of leukemia as well as research into novel therapies that improve survival and reduce treatment-related side effects have been under way for more than three decades. Division investigators oversee the only leukemia research program in the country that is the recipient of two prestigious grants from the National Cancer Institute — a program project grant (PPG) and a specialized program of research excellent (SPORE) grant.



Program Project Grant (PPG) in Leukemia

Principal Investigator: Timothy Ley, MD, Lewis T. and Rosalind B. Apple Chair in Oncology

5-year, $14.3 million grant, renewed consistently since 2003

Focus: Genetic alterations that trigger onset, progression, or relapse of acute myeloid leukemia.


SPORE in Leukemia

Principal Investigator: Daniel Link, MD, Alan A. and Edith L. Wolff Distinguished Professor of Medicine

5-year, $12.2 million grant, awarded in 2013

Focus: One of only three SPOREs in the country focused on translational research in acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS), including novel therapies and genomic research to predict chemotherapy responses. Research already has identified novel recurring mutations in MDS and AML.


SPORE in Pancreatic Cancer

Principal Investigator: William Hawkins, MD, FACS, Neidorff Family and Robert C. Packman Professor & Chief, Section of Hepatobiliary-Pancreatic Surgery

5-year, $10.4 million grant, awarded in 2016

Focus: Washington University School of Medicine also is the lead institution of a national collaborative effort to find new treatments for pancreatic cancer and, in particular, for a deadly form of the disease called pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma. William Hawkins, MD, chief of Washington University’s Section of Hepatobiliary-Pancreatic Surgery, serves as principal investigator and director of the SPORE's Administrative Core. Collaborating with Hawkins are two Division of Oncology faculty researchers, David Denardo, PhD, who serves as associate director of the Administrative Core, and Andrea Wang-Gillam, MD, PhD, who oversees clinical trials.