Developmental Therapeutics Institute
Northwestern Medicine and the Lurie Cancer Center have launched a discipline-defining research program devoted to uniting and expanding our investment in the burgeoning field of developmental therapeutics.
The Developmental Therapeutics Institute (DTi) will thrive from the collaboration of Northwestern University and external basic scientists, translational researchers, and clinical investigators who have a shared passion for and particular expertise in developmental therapeutics. This field creates a continuous synergistic loop linking pre-clinical basic science breakthroughs to the use of novel approaches to prevent cancer, to better predict its causes and behavior, and to develop better treatments for patients who suffer from cancer.
DTi will act as a center to optimize our partnerships with peer institutions and biotechnology, device, pharmaceutical, and theranostic companies — all focused on the ultimate goal of developing novel approaches that will improve public health and outcomes in patients, both adult and pediatric, suffering from cancer or other diseases that share relevant features with cancer.
Through the DTi, we will enhance our current focus on bringing life-changing discoveries from the laboratory to our patients as quickly and as safely as possible. Recent success stories present a compelling case to advance this field.
Francis J. Giles, MD, MB, FRCPI, FRCPath, recently joined Northwestern as Director of the DTi. A cancer specialist with more than two decades of experience, Dr. Giles has led the development of novel drugs, immunotherapies, and other highly targeted cancer treatment approaches. These have included cancer-directed viruses, monoclonal antibodies, and molecularly directed agents. He has served as Principal Investigator on numerous national and international First in Human, Phase I, II, and III clinical studies of many novel agents, and holds numerous patents and technology licenses.
Dr. Giles has focused his clinical and research efforts on providing therapy for patients suffering from treatment-resistant or refractory cancer. He has pioneered the use of many agents that are now in regular use as targeted therapies for patients with cancer.
"The last decade has seen enormous progress in anti-cancer therapy," says Dr. Giles. "We are turning incremental knowledge of the pathologies that drive cancer into very targeted, effective therapies. DTi will accelerate this continuum for patients suffering from cancer as well as for patients suffering from the increasing number of non-malignant diseases that share common therapeutic targets with cancer. With the combined resources of Northwestern Medicine and the Lurie Cancer Center, DTi is optimally positioned to make a major contribution to this global effort."
The institute will be located on the 5th floor of Northwestern's Prentice Women's Hospital. Dr. Giles joined Northwestern in April 2013 and is moving forward with plans to open DTi for patients this summer.