Our Research Impact

Christopher Lima & Derek Tan Molecular biologist Christopher Lima and chemist Derek Tan collaborate to learn more about fundamental cell processes.

Extraordinary teams of scientists and clinicians are united in a common pursuit: to transform our understanding of cancer and how we care for those affected by the disease. At Memorial Sloan Kettering, we cultivate a collegial and interdisciplinary atmosphere for research and scientific training. We explore new and promising ideas without delay, and we always look for the fastest way to move research innovations toward patient benefit.

Our investigators specialize in every aspect of cancer science including basic, translational, clinical, and population-wide studies. Although our core research mission is focused on cancer, some of our investigators are advancing discovery related to other health problems or scientific fields.

Presently, our doctors are leading more than 900 clinical trials to improve treatment strategies for both adult and pediatric cancers. Between 1980 and 2015, the US Food and Drug Administration approved nine drugs developed in our labs for marketing — a success rate not matched by any other cancer center.

MSK is home to one of the world’s most progressive biomedical research institutions, the Sloan Kettering Institute (SKI), which includes eight Research Programs dedicated to studying the fundamental principles of life and disease and developing new therapies and technologies. Alongside SKI, the Human Oncology and Pathogenesis Program of Memorial Hospital includes teams of physician-scientists working to translate molecular insights into new cancer treatments. In addition, many of our physicians run basic or translational research laboratories affiliated with Memorial Hospital’s academic departments.

Our Collaborative Research Centers bring together scientists and clinician-scientists from across MSK’s research programs and departments to focus on strategically important areas of cancer research. A wide range of state-of-the-art core facilities support our investigators by offering advanced methodological expertise and research technology.

In addition, we offer exceptional educational programs to train the scientific leaders of the future, including postdoctoral researchers and PhD and MD-PhD candidates who are highly motivated to help improve human health through science.

Mission and History

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center was founded in 1884 as New York Cancer Hospital on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. In 1939, the hospital, which by then had been renamed Memorial Hospital for the Treatment of Cancer and Allied Diseases, relocated to our present location on York Avenue.

In the 1940s, former General Motors executives Alfred P. Sloan and Charles F. Kettering co-established the Sloan Kettering Institute (SKI), which has since become one of the nation’s leading biomedical research institutions. Built adjacent to Memorial Hospital, SKI was formally dedicated in 1948.

In 1980, Memorial Hospital and SKI were brought together as one institution — Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center — dedicated to exceptional cancer care, innovative research, and forward-thinking education.

Learn more about our history and milestones.