Mission & History


Since its founding in 1884 as New York Cancer Hospital, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center has remained committed to patient care and innovative research. Our physicians and scientists have made significant contributions to understanding, diagnosing, and treating cancer.

The Center’s basic laboratory research division was formalized in 1945 when philanthropist Alfred P. Sloan and inventor Charles E. Kettering joined forces to establish the Sloan Kettering Institute (SKI). In 1960, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center was established as the corporate entity that would coordinate and guide overall policy for both Memorial Hospital and SKI.

Today, close collaboration between our physicians and scientists enables us to provide patients with the best care available while working to discover more-effective strategies to prevent, control, and ultimately cure cancer.

Our experts have pioneered many novel therapeutic regimens, and are currently leading more than 900 clinical trials to study the development and treatment of pediatric and adult cancers. In addition, SKI scientists perform some of the world’s most dynamic biomedical research, through programs in Cancer Biology and Genetics, Cell Biology, Computational Biology, Developmental Biology, Immunology, Molecular Biology, Molecular Pharmacology and Chemistry, and Structural Biology.

In 2004, we established the Louis V. Gerstner, Jr. Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences to award PhDs in cancer biology to laboratory scientists. Through our many training programs, we prepare the next generation of physicians, scientists, and other healthcare professionals for leadership roles in the life sciences and medicine, especially as related to cancer.