Developmental Therapeutics

Program Overview

The highly collaborative, transdisciplinary Developmental Therapeutics (DT) Research Program is a critical translational innovation hub for Yale Cancer Center, bridging drug discovery and experimental therapeutics to translate preclinical discoveries and treatment strategies into the clinic, while returning clinical advances to the bench for refinement.

The major focus of the Developmental Therapeutics Program is in the area of novel drug development for the treatment of cancer. Yale Cancer Center is home to some of the world’s leading investigators and scientists whose breakthroughs in cancer biology, pharmacology, and drug development show great promise in the treatment of a wide range of human cancers. Led by Drs. Burtness and Anderson, both senior, funded investigators experienced in bringing together diverse scientific groups, the DT Program is poised to leverage its scientific breadth with strengthened capacity in early-phase clinical research and personalized medicine to address important barriers to progress in cancer therapeutics.

Research efforts are focused on the following major areas of investigation: (1) target identification, validation, and characterization; (2) characterization of the mechanisms of chemosensitivity and cellular drug resistance; (3) drug discovery/development; and (4) clinical trial design and development.


The goals of the Developmental Therapeutics Program are to:
1. Utilize chemistry, structural biology, and pharmacology tools to generate basic discoveries and translate these into clinical candidates, with a particular focus on undruggable targets.  
2. Conduct rationally designed early-phase trials of novel anticancer therapies, including those that combine immunotherapy with conventional targeted or cytotoxic therapies.
3. Rapidly validate new early-phase anticancer therapies by incorporating genomic and expression-based patient selection.