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The History of the Kimmel Cancer Center

The Kimmel Cancer Center (KCC) was founded in 1991 with approximately 30 investigators in the basic sciences. Today, the KCC has approximately 150 members that include physicians and scientists dedicated to discovery and development of novel approaches for cancer treatment. The mission of the Kimmel Cancer Center, a National Cancer Institute-designated clinical cancer center, is to increase the survival and quality of life of cancer patients by translating laboratory discoveries into new strategies to prevent, diagnose, monitor and cure human cancer. A major focus of the Kimmel Cancer Center is in translating the discoveries in the genetics, cell biology biochemistry, structural biology pharmacology and immunology of cancer made at the Center into novel modalities for prevention and treatment.  The cancer center's name recognizes the generous support of Mr. Sidney Kimmel, chairman of Jones Apparel Group, Inc.

Since the arrival of Dr. Pestell, the peer-reviewed funding of the KCC has increased from $35.4 to $52.4 million, there are 43 new funded faculty members in the KCC, and the number of peer-reviewed grants has increased by 74.

Last year, KCC received approximately $70 million in sponsored research funding from federal and non-federal sources, including support from various pharmaceutical companies and private foundations. The Center has also been very successful in obtaining NIH support for training programs at the pre- and post-doctoral levels. Currently, the Center receives approximately $1 million per year for these training programs.

The past eight years have seen tremendous growth in our basic science and clinical programs. As we look toward the future, our focus on translational research will intensify and position the Kimmel Cancer Center at the forefront of centers dedicated to discovery and innovation in cancer treatment.


The Organization of the Kimmel Cancer Center

Senior Leadership


The structure of the KCC is shown in the Organizational Chart.


Basic Science programs in the KCC include Cell Biology & Signaling, Molecular Biology & Genetics, Structural Biology & Bioinformatics, Immunology and Virology, and Hormone Responsive Cancers: Breast & Prostate.  Clinical Science programs in the KCC include Molecular Targets and Developmental Therapeutics, Hematologic Malignancies & Stem Cell Transplantation, and Gastrointestinal Cancer. Links to these programs are provided under Research.

The KCC also offers its members access to many Shared Resources, including the following facilities: Bioimaging, Biostatistics, Flow Cytometry, Microarray, Nucleic Acids, Proteomics, Transgenic/Knockout Mouse, and X-Ray Crystallography. A full list of the shared resources is provided under Research. Such shared resources greatly facilitate and enhance the effort of KCC investigators in discovery.  The efforts of KCC members are also facilitated by the KCC Administration office, which is responsible for financial and personnel affairs, as well as the administration of grant submissions, expenditures, and accounting.

The Cancer Center also offers Ph.D. training in Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, Genetics, Immunology & Microbial Pathogenesis, and Molecular Pharmacology & Structural Biology through the College of Graduate Studies of Thomas Jefferson University These programs of study are designed to provide graduate students with sufficient training and research experience to pursue future careers as scientific investigators in academic, biotechnology, government and industrial settings.