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Case Comprehensive Cancer Center

Developmental Therapeutics

Developmental Therapeutics

Program Information

The overarching goal of the Developmental Therapeutics Program (DTP) is to identify and evaluate innovative and novel drugs that will overcome intrinsic cancer cell proliferation and survival mechanisms and to translate these findings into the clinic. The program seeks an enhanced understanding of factors influencing cell replication and signaling that can to be influenced by novel anti-cancer agents. The program leaders foster an environment for facilitated interaction of bench scientists and clinicians involved in anticancer drug development and thus provide a platform for improved patient outcomes. The DTP encourages both bench to bedside as well as bedside to bench research.

Bench to Bedside

Program Themes

  • To facilitate discovery and clinical development of novel anti-cancer agents targeting DNA including the following:
    • DNA polymerase, ribonucleotide reductase and nucleoside analogues
    • DNA repair
    • Epigenetics and differentiation
  • To augment research and discovery of novel strategies for therapeutic targeting of tumor signal transduction and the microenvironment including the following:
    • Signal transduction
    • Phosphatase inhibition
    • Microenvironment including endothelial and immune factors

Program Activities

Early Phase Therapeutics Opportunity Meeting
Second Wednesday of the month at 5 pm in Wolstein Research Building 2-136

Academic Drug Development Seminar
Fourth Wednesday of the month at 4 pm at the Global Cardiovascular Innovation Center (10000 Cedar Avenue)

Program Announcements

The NCI has relationships with a variety of biotech and pharmaceutical companies to provide access to new agents for either preclinical or clinical studies. To view the current NCI portfolio, visit the CTEP website and view "CTEP Agents and Active Agreements" located in the "Agents/Drugs" page under the Protocol Development tab.

If you are interested in working with any of the agents on the list, please contact Dr. Afshin Dowlati at

Pilot Funds
There are limited funds available for pilot projects for members of the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center for:

  • Performing correlative and biomarker studies on physician investigator initiated studies
  • Performing pharmacokinetics on early phase trials

If you are interested in applying‌ for pilot funds from DTP:

Program Members

Jame Abraham, MD
Professor, Solid Tumor Oncology

David J. Adelstein, MD
Professor, Solid Tumor Oncology

Drew Adams, PhD
Assistant Professor, Genetics & Genome Sciences

Manmeet S. Ahluwalia, MD
Associate Professor, Brain Tumor and Neuro-Oncology Center

James M. Anderson, MD, PhD
Professor, Pathology

Bruce J. Averbook, MD
Professor, Surgery

Gene H. Barnett, MD
Professor, Brain Tumor and Neuro-Oncology Center

Elma D. Baron, MD
Professor, Dermatology

Jerome L. Belinson, MD
Professor, Obstetrics & Gynecology

Anthony J. Berdis, PhD
Assistant Professor, Chemistry

Tithi Biswas, MD
Associate Professor, Radiation Oncology

Joseph A. Bokar, MD, PhD
Associate Professor, Medicine/Hematology-Oncology

G. Thomas Budd, MD
Professor, Solid Tumor Oncology

Clemens Burda, PhD
Professor, Chemistry

Chee-Wai Cheng, PhD
Professor, Radiation Oncology

Mellar P. Davis, MD, FCCP
Professor, Solid Tumor Oncology

Peter de Blank, MD
Assistant Professor, Pediatric Hematology/Oncology

Afshin Dowlati, MD
Professor, Medicine-Hematology/Oncology

Jennifer R. Eads, MD
Assistant Professor, Medicine-Hematology/Oncology

Rachel A. Egler, MD, MS
Assistant Professor, Pediatrics

Paul J. Elson, ScD
Associate Staff, Quantitative Health Sciences

Pingfu Fu, PhD
Associate Professor, Epidemiology & Biostatistics

Stanton L. Gerson, MD
Director, Case Comprehensive Cancer Center
Professor, Medicine-Hematology/Oncology

Meg Gerstenblith, MD
Assistant Professor, Dermatology

Michael K. Gibson, MD, PhD
Associate Professor, Medicine-Hematology/Oncology

Stephen R. Grobmyer, MD
Staff, General Surgery

Jeffrey M. Hardacre, MD
Associate Professor, Surgery

Kord Honda, MD
Associate Professor, Dermatology

Charles L. Hoppel, MD
Professor, Clinical Pharmacology

Ritika Jaini, MD
Assistant Professor, Immunology

Damir Janigro, PhD
Professor, Cell Biology

Alok Khorana, MD
Staff, Solid Tumor Oncology

Smitha S. Krishnamurthi, MD
Associate Professor, Medicine-Hematology/Oncology

Gary E. Landreth, PhD
Professor, Neurosciences

Pierre Lavertu, MD
Professor, Otolaryngology

Richard T. Lee, MD
Associate Professor, Medicine - Hematology and Oncology

Nathan A. Levitan, MD
Professor, Medicine-Hematology/Oncology

Benjamin Li, MD
Director, Cancer Center, MetroHealth Medical Center 
Professor, Surgical Oncology

Philip A. Linden, MD
Chief and Associate Professor, Division of Thoracic and Esophageal Surgery

Daniel J. Lindner, MD, PhD
Assistant Professor, Cancer Biology

Janice Lyons, MD
Associate Professor, Radiation Oncology

John J. Mieyal, PhD
Professor, Pharmacology

Alberto Montero, MD
Staff, Solid Tumor Oncology

Goutham Narla, MD, PhD
Assistant Professor, Medicine and Transformative Molecular Medicine

Robin E. Norris, MD, MS, MPH
Assistant Professor, Pediatrics-Hematology/Oncology

Timothy E. O'Brien, MD
Associate Professor, Medicine-Hematology/Oncology

Richard A. Padgett, PhD
Professor, Molecular Genetics

David M. Peereboom, MD
Professor, Brain Tumor and Neuro-Oncology Center

Nathan A. Pennell, MD, PhD
Associate Staff, Solid Tumor Oncology

James G. Phillips, PhD
Project Staff, Translational Hematology & Oncology

John J. Pink, PhD
Assistant Professor, General Medical Sciences (Oncology)

Kimberly Resnick, MD
Assistant Professor, Medicine-Gynecologic Oncology

Frederic J. Reu, MD
Assistant Professor, Hematologic Oncology and Blood Disorders

Lisa R. Rogers, DO
Professor, Neurology

Peter G. Rose, MD
Professor, Obstetrics & Gynecology

Yogen Saunthararajah, MD
Professor, Hematologic Oncology and Blood Disorders

Mark D. Schluchter, PhD
Professor, Epidemiology & Biostatistics

Robert R. Shenk, MD
Associate Professor, Surgery

Dale R. Shepard, MD, PhD
Assistant Professor, Solid Tumor Oncology

Girish C. Shukla, PhD
Associate Professor, Biology

Paula Silverman, MD
Associate Professor, Medicine-Hematology/Oncology

Andrew E. Sloan, MD
Professor, Neurological Surgery

Davendra Sohal, MD, MPH
Assistant Professor, Solid Tumor Oncology

David W. Stepnick, MD, FACS
Associate Professor, Otolaryngology

James P. Stevenson, MD
Associate Staff, Solid Tumor Oncology

Jean T. Stevenson, MD
Associate Professor, Surgery

John H. Suh, MD
Professor, Radiation Oncology

Lois Teston, MD
Assistant Professor, Hematology and Oncology

Gregory P. Tochtrop, PhD
Associate Professor, Chemistry

Joan E. Trey, MD
Associate Professor, Medicine-Hematology/Oncology

Vamsidhar Velcheti, MD
Assistant Professor, Solid Tumor Oncology

Michael A. Vogelbaum, MD, PhD
Professor, Neurosurgery

Steven E. Waggoner, MD
Professor, Reproductive Biology

David N. Wald, MD, PhD
Assistant Professor, Pathology

Yan Xu, PhD
Professor, Chemistry

Kristine M. Zanotti, MD
Associate Professor, Reproductive Biology

Maciej Zborowski, PhD
Associate Professor, Biomedical Engineering

Program Leaders


Afshin Dowlati, MD
Professor, Medicine-Hematology/Oncology

Yogen Saunthararajah, MD
Professor, Hematologic Oncology and Blood Disorders

CALL FOR APPLICATIONS: Developmental Therapeutics Program

The Developmental Therapeutics Program (DTP) is soliciting small research grant applications focused on supporting pilot projects that will build upon and promote intra-programmatic and possibly inter-programmatic (with the main applicant a member of DTP) collaborations. The expectation is that these collaborative awards will generate novel concepts and research data with a high likelihood of leading to successful, future, extramural grant funding. This current opportunity will fund 3 awards of up to $20,000 each. One award will potentially be dedicated to specific instrumentation acquisition that will ultimately assist multiple DTP member projects and the generation of preliminary data for future grant submissions.
Application Outline:
  • Specific Aims (1 page)
  • Research Strategy (4 pages) o Significance
    • Innovation
    • Approach 
  • Budget and budget justification
  • Biosketches: Include an NIH-style biosketch for the PI and any other designated key personnel.
Please note that the application itself should be 5-pages (or less) in length for the specific aims and research strategy. Biosketches and budget documents do not count in the page limit. In addition, the application should be organized according to NIH format. Projects proposed in response to this announcement should be able to be accomplished in 12 months. Applicants may submit only one application as Principal Investigator but can serve as key personnel (Co-Investigator) on other proposals.
Proposals should be submitted electronically as a single PDF document by October 20, 2015 to Afshin Dowlati at The proposals will be reviewed by a selection committee that will consist of a specially convened group composed of members from the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center. 
[View as PDF: DTP-RFA-Sep2015]