Dana-Farber has partnered with the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy (PICI), the leading network of immuno-oncology expertise in the world, as a member of the PICI Network with a goal of better understanding the tumor microenvironment across cancer types and translating these basic discoveries into impactful cancer immunotherapies for patients.
The PICI Network was established to promote collaboration between leading-edge research institutions in the field of cancer immunology. Encouraging interdisciplinary collaboration and sharing research advances enables the network to maximize the scientific value of discoveries and catalyze the development of more effective cancer immunotherapies.
Funding for centers in the PICI Network supports bold, high-risk scientific research that bridges academia and biotech through the potential formation of companies founded to develop next-generation cancer therapies. PICI also facilitates access to advanced bioinformatics, intellectual property, sequencing, immune monitoring, industry-owned drugs, cell manufacturing, genetic engineering, and clinical trial management. Network institutes also are offered resources to develop the next generation of scientific leaders as part of PICI’s Early Career Researchers program.
“Dana-Farber investigators are innovators in immuno-oncology,” said Laurie H. Glimcher, MD, Dana-Farber president and CEO and the Richard and Susan Smith Professor of Medicine. “As an institutional member of the PICI Network, we will expand our opportunities to work jointly with fellow leaders in the field, bringing together a powerful combination of expertise and resources that will significantly augment our impact on patients.”
Among multiple other research pursuits, scientists at Dana-Farber are drawing a clearer picture of how tumor microenvironments change in response to immunotherapy. The researchers believe this work points to potential targets for the development of more effective drug therapies.
The Center is led by Co-Directors F. Stephen Hodi Jr., MD, who also directs the Melanoma Center and the Center for Immuno-Oncology and is the Sharon Crowley Martin Chair in Melanoma at Dana-Farber; Elizabeth Mittendorf, MD, PhD, director of Dana-Farber’s Breast Immuno-oncology Program and co-director of the Breast Cancer Clinical Research Program; and Kai Wucherpfennig, MD, PhD, chair of Cancer Immunology and Virology and director of the Center for Cancer Immunotherapy Research at Dana-Farber, and the Nancy Lurie Marks Professor of Neurology in the Field of Medical Oncology. The PICI grant supports The Dana-Farber Campaign, Dana-Farber’s ambitious, multi-year fundraising effort to prevent, treat, and defy cancer by accelerating revolutionary science, extraordinary care, exceptional expertise, and essential opportunities.
As PICI Network collaborators since 2017, Dana-Farber researchers already have contributed to high-profile PICI cancer research studies, including the AMADEUS, REVOLUTION, and PRINCE clinical trials; TRIBUTE, a data-driven approach to metastatic triple-negative breast cancer; the Tumor Neoantigen Selection Alliance; and the revolutionary discovery of a cancer detection protein in the immune system.
“As a PICI Network member, Dana-Farber will be an even more integral part of a national and international team of scientists working in concert to deliver cures to patients,” said John Connolly, PhD, PICI chief scientific officer. “We welcome the progression of our partnership and look forward to even greater collaboration ahead.”
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