About Us

Since 1978, the Institute for Cancer Research has been a National Cancer Institute-designated basic research cancer center. Only seven institutions in the United States have earned this title. Being a basic research center means we don’t treat cancer patients directly. Our work focuses on investigating cancers where they begin — at the cellular level — to investigate the cause of and cure for one of the most devastating diseases of our time.

Doctors and scientists throughout the world use our discoveries to develop methods, medicines, and medical devices to save and enhance patients’ lives.


At the Institute for Cancer Research, our mission is basic discovery — discovery that is the foundation for innovative cancer solutions. The institute leverages Purdue's strengths in engineering, veterinary medicine, nutrition science, chemistry, medicinal chemistry, pharmacy, structural biology and biological sciences to establish its foundational base. 

These core strengths form the sustaining underpinning through which the institute facilitates a focus on understanding the biology of the cancer cell, developing innovative technology that can be used to probe cancer-related phenomena, creating diagnostic and imaging tools, and synthesizing unique therapeutic chemical entities that can be delivered to the cancer cell by novel technology. 

As a National Cancer Institute-designated cancer center, the institute is making significant contributions to emerging technologies, such as cancer vaccines and combination chemotherapy. We specialize in translational research that saves lives by translating laboratory findings into new and innovative therapies as quickly as possible. 

Our mission is discovery. 

Our goal is to cure cancer.