The Wistar Institute Cancer Center

Since 1972,The Wistar Institute Cancer Center has been a National Cancer Institute-designated Cancer Center in basic research.

The mission of The Wistar Institute Cancer Center is to merge basic, translational and disease-relevant cancer research in a single scientific continuum with focus on cancer prevention, diagnosis and therapy. The Cancer Center has a history of significant advances in cancer genetics, cancer biology, tumor immunology, and virology. Its accomplishments include:

  • Identification of genes associated with breast, lung, and prostate cancer.
  • Development of monoclonal antibodies used to study the pathways and proteins involved in tumor development.
  • Contributions to improved cancer treatments and diagnostic tests.

Cancer Center scientists conduct research on gene expression and regulation, molecular and cellular oncogenesis, and immunology, microenvironment and metastasis. Scientists benefit from shared resources that advance research by providing essential technical support and state-of-the-art instrumentation and improving researchers’ efficiency. One of the great strengths of the Wistar Cancer Center is its emphasis on collaboration, both internally and with external organizations.


Members of the Cancer Center leadership, supported by internal advisory committees and the Cancer Center External Advisory Board, develop the Center’s goals and lead in the implementation of strategic directives. In addition, the Institute's External Advisory Board meets yearly to review the Center’s programs and plans for recruitment and research.

Senior Leaders

Dario C. Altieri, M.D., Director
Frank J. Rauscher, III, Ph.D., Deputy Director 
Nicholas J. Petrelli, M.D., Associate Director for Translational Research

Research Program Leaders

Paul Lieberman, Ph.D., Program Leader, Gene Expression and Regulation
Rugang Zhang, Ph.D., Co-Program Leader, Gene Expression and Regulation
Maureen Murphy, Ph.D., Program Leader, Molecular and Cellular Oncogenesis
David W. Speicher, Ph.D., Co-Program Leader, Molecular and Cellular Oncogenesis
Dmitry I. Gabrilovich, M.D., Ph.D., Program Leader, Immunology, Microenvironment and Metastasis
Ashani Weeraratna, Ph.D., Co-Program Leader, Immunology, Microenvironment and Metastasis


Luis J. Montaner, D.V.M., D.Phil., Associate Director for Shared Resources
Marianne M. O’Neill, Associate Director for Cancer Center Support Grant Finances
Lisa Sideras, Associate Director for Cancer Center Administration
Mark Drinker, Assistant Director for Shared Resources


For more information on The Wistar Institute Cancer Center, please contact:

Lisa Sideras
Associate Director, Cancer Center Administration
The Wistar Institute
3601 Spruce Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104