Precision Cancer Medicine and Investigational Therapeutics

DNA strand


The Precision Cancer Medicine and Investigational Therapeutics program organizes and supports Duke Cancer Institute members who are committed to creating better treatment options for patients with cancer and delivering on the promise of precision oncology. The mission of the program is to transform cancer care through the discovery of actionable molecular targets, the development of novel therapeutics and diagnostics, and the implementation of infrastructure to support translational research and other clinical activities in precision medicine.

Focus Areas

  • Identification of novel molecular targets in cancers.
  • Development of innovative treatments directed at molecular alterations driving proliferation and/or therapy resistance, including strategies to overcome molecular residual disease (MRD).
  • Molecular analysis of patient samples including primary tissues, fluids, and patient-derived models of cancer.
  • Development and evaluation of novel technologies for molecular analyses.
  • Development of new biomarkers for diagnosis, prognosis, and prediction.
  • Expansion of precision medicine infrastructure: tumor boards, clinical cancer informatics, and access to biorepository and translational research data.

Precision Cancer Medicine Initiative (PCMI)

The Duke Precision Cancer Medicine Initiative comprises the Duke Molecular Tumor Board, the Duke Molecular Registry of Tumors, and participation in the American Association for Cancer Research Genomics Evidence Neoplasia Information Exchange (GENIE) cancer genomic data sharing program, with the goal of promoting precision medicine within the Duke University Health System.

BioRepository and Precision Pathology Center

The Duke BioRepository and Precision Pathology Center facilitates biospecimen collection and processing for more than 10,000 Duke patients participating in clinical trials. In addition, the it obtains broad consent from more than 5,000 patients for blood and leftover cancer tissue donation to research., Researchers have access to more than 60,000 dedicated research specimens through the BioRepository and Precision Pathology Center, and millions of leftover clinical pathology samples.

Sipkins Lab

The Sipkins Lab studies the molecular characteristics of tissue microenvironments, or “niches,” that regulate the migration, survival and regeneration of cancerous cells. In combination with classical molecular and cell biology approaches, the lab uses state-of-the-art multiphoton and confocal optical imaging techniques to explore these questions in vivo, in real time in mouse models of leukemia and breast cancer.

Shannon Jones McCall
Shannon Jones McCall

Shannon Jones McCall

Associate Professor of Pathology

Dorothy Anna Sipkins
Dorothy Anna Sipkins

Dorothy Anna Sipkins

Associate Professor of Medicine

John Strickler
John Strickler

John Strickler

Professor of Medicine

This page was reviewed on 09/11/2023