Pictured: Kristina Knapp, Andrei Krivstov & Xujun Wang

There are five major goals of the proposed center:

Computational Analysis: We will provide disease-specific computational support for hematologic malignancy investigators, including database management of sequencing data, integration, annotation, and discovery efforts.  These efforts complement the larger computational programs in the Center for Molecular Oncology (CMO), the Center for Epigenetics Research (CER), and in the Computational Biology Program, and will allow hematologic malignancy investigators to maximize their ability to integrate genomics into laboratory and clinical studies. Current analytical platforms available in the center include targeted gene resequencing for both custom and CMO Panels (IMPACT, HEMEPACT), whole-exome sequencing, whole-genome sequencing, and transcriptome sequencing.

Translational Research Infrastructure: The HemeOnc Tissue Bank (HOTB) is a centralized, comprehensive resource for banking of human biological specimens to support research using primary human cells and tissue. It has become an invaluable resource with a large, annotated bank of primary samples from patients with hematologic malignancies. However, the optimal use of primary patient samples, the sampling of patients at key clinical timepoints, and the integration of genomic data with clinical and therapeutic response data are critical needs for a robust translational research program.  The Center for Hematologic Malignancies will facilitate and assist with IRB submissions and sample queries and with annotation of samples to optimize the use of human biological specimen for research. Equally important, we will serve as a link between specific research projects, HOTB, and the labs, such as for projects that need to sample patients at minimal residual disease or at clinical relapse.

Collaborative Grants Support: We will host effective, collaborative meetings that reduce the need for additional meetings/emails normally needed to achieve collaborative research progress. We will coordinate efforts toward collaborative research grants, including P01, LLS SCOR, and others. The grants coordinator will also ensure we are aware of all hematologic malignancy-specific grants supported by outside sponsors, and serve as a resource for trainees and young investigators who are early in their grant-writing careers.

Preclinical Mechanism-Based Therapeutics Studies: With assistance from the Anti-Tumor Assessment Core, the Center for Hematologic Malignancies will provide support for critical, therapeutic studies that allow for bench to bedside translation.

Pilot Project Support: The Center for Hematologic Malignancies will have resources available to support key research studies which can lead to larger, peer-reviewed grants, or which represent novel, collaborative interactive projects which could benefit from rapid, focused support.