Translational Molecular Medicine

The Department of Translational Molecular Medicine is committed to the development and translational application of transcriptomic, genomic, and epigenomic biomarkers as diagnostic, prognostic and predictive tools in patients with solid tumors, particularly melanoma, breast cancer, prostate cancer, and gastrointestinal tract cancers.

JWCI Translational Molecular Medicine researchers smiling for viewer JWCI Translational Molecular Medicine researchers reviewing data JWCI Translational Molecular Medicine Researchers working beside each other in the lab Translational Molecular Medicine researchers working beside one another

Mission and Vision

Our mission is devoted to the development of new approaches for the molecular diagnosis of metastasis with a strong emphasis on the identification of molecular biomarkers (genomic, epigenomic) that can be used in early-diagnosis, prognosis, drug resistance, and theranostic targets. Our mission goal is clinical translational research to improve cancer patient healthcare.

Our vision is the employment of blood molecular biomarkers such as cell-free nucleic acid (cfNA; DNA, miRNA) and circulating tumor cells(CTC) to aid in cancer patient management and modern therapeutics. Our other vision is the understanding of ubiquitin and ubiquilin related to tumor regulatory pathways and translational responses to therapy resistance.

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Molecular Medicine research team looking at data

Partnership & Collaboration

Our Translational Molecular Medicine Department was initiated at the John Wayne Cancer Institute in 1991 under Dr. Dave SB Hoon. Dr. Hoon’s research team has published over 350 publications in indexed scientific journals. Currently, the members of the department are organized in different sections of research, these include:

  • The identification of CTCs and CFNA in blood and urine for diagnosis and prognosis of patients during follow up.
  • The understanding of different epigenetic mechanisms that regulate regional and distant(brain, visceral organ) metastasis.
  • Assessment of ubiquitin and ubiquilin pathways that promote tumor progression and treatment resistance.
  • Identification of mechanisms of primary brain and brain metastasis progression and tumor microenvironment interactions.

The department has been supported by NIH/NCI grants for melanoma translational studies since 1992. The dept has been supported for breast cancer by FFANY, ABCs, Gonda, California Breast Cancer Program, DOD, and Komen foundations. In the last five years the dept has been supported by the Adeleson Medical Research Foundation (AMRF) as Dr. Hoon is a member of the program.

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JWCI Translational Molecular Medicine Researchers in the lab working

Current Research Topics

We are highly focused on developing quantitative translational oncology tools to improve management of solid tumor cancer patients. Discoveries made in molecular studies are rapidly translated for application at the bedside. We have partnered with biotech and pharmaceutical companies in developing treatment protocols and new molecular oncology approaches, the results of which may increase overall survival and eventually expedite development of a cure for patients with solid tumor cancers.

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Please see our publications for more information about our research.

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Professor Dave S.B. Hoon MSc, Ph.D. Founder & Director of Translational Molecular Medicine and Sequencing Center

Postdoctoral Lab-Based Translational Molecular Medicine Fellowship

As pioneers in translational studies on “liquid biopsies” involving circulating tumor cells in multiple types of solid tumors, the fellowship program also consists of studying epigenetic mechanisms regulating solid tumor as well as pharmacogenomics and immunogenomic based prediction of response to therapy.

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