Oct. 1, 2015:

A conversation with Timothy L. Ratliff, PhD, Robert Wallace Miller Director of the Purdue University Center for Cancer Research, which is a member of the Big Ten Cancer Research Consortium.

Q: How do you think cancer research will change in the next 10 or 20 years?

There will be a much greater focus on individual care, i.e., personalized medicine. I am hopeful that the FDA will make changes that embody the personalized approach. There is likely to be significant advances in immunotherapy and control of epigenetic gene regulation.

Q: What does translational science look like within your institution and in your collaboration with other BTCRC member institutions?

Moving basic discoveries toward clinical application is a major translational process for our center. Members of the Purdue University Center for Cancer Research develop new drugs, new instrumentation, and discover new molecules relevant to cancers. All move into the clinical setting quickly to validate applicability.

Q: How is the BTCRC unique from other research consortia in which you participate?

Members of the BTCRC work together to raise funds to support investigator-initiated trials. The concept is forward thinking and has the potential to enable many more drugs to be tested.

About Purdue University Center for Cancer Research: The Purdue University Center for Cancer Research brings together the best minds from within Purdue University and across the world to study cancers where they start — inside the cell. Using the combined expertise of scientists from disciplines as varied as engineering and veterinary medicine, biology, and chemistry, the Center for Cancer Research promotes discovery into how cancers develop, progress, and respond to treatment. Our work leads to the advancement of new medicines, early detection and diagnostic methods, more effective treatments, and highly efficient drug delivery systems. The center has held a National Cancer Institute designation since 1978 as a basic research cancer center. There are now 16 drugs in clinical trials based on Purdue research.

About the Big Ten Cancer Research Consortium: The Big Ten Cancer Research Consortium creates a unique team-research culture to drive science rapidly from ideas to treatment-changing paradigms. Within this innovative environment, today’s research leaders collaborate with and mentor the research leaders of tomorrow with the unified goal of improving the lives of all patients with cancer.

About the Big Ten Conference: The Big Ten Conference is an association of world-class universities whose member institutions share a common mission of research, graduate, professional, and undergraduate teaching and public service. Founded in 1896, the Big Ten has sustained a comprehensive set of shared practices and policies that enforce the priority of academics in student-athletes’ lives and emphasize the values of integrity, fairness, and competitiveness. The broad-based athletic programs of the 14 Big Ten institutions provide nearly $200 million in direct financial aid to almost 9,500 student-athletes for more than 11,000 participation opportunities on 350 teams in 42 different sports. The Big Ten sponsors 28 official conference sports, 14 for men and 14 for women, including the addition of men’s and women’s lacrosse as official sports for the 2014-15 academic year. For more information, visit www.bigten.org.