Cancer Therapeutics: Technology, Discovery & Targeted Delivery


Larry Sklar, PhD

Eric Prossnitz, PhD

Program Leaders: Larry Sklar, PhD, and Eric Prossnitz, PhD

The Cancer Therapeutics Research Program (CT), led by Larry A. Sklar, Ph.D. and Eric Prossnitz, PhD., consists of a multidisciplinary team of 35 (15 full, 9 mentored and 11 associate) members, with basic, translational and clinical investigators assembled from:

  • 8 Departments in the UNM School of Medicine,
  • the UNM College of Engineering,
  • the UNM College of Pharmacy,
  • New Mexico State University, and
  • our UNM Comprehensive Cancer Center (UNMCCC) consortium partners: Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute (LRRI) and Sandia (SNL) and Los Alamos National (LANL) Laboratories.

CT is an ongoing UNMCCC Research Program, developed by rigorous program planning and evaluation in response to the 2015 NCI CCSG critique and guidance from the External Advisory Committee (EAC) through 2019. CT has retained and acquired scientific expertise in small molecule discovery and drug repurposing, targeting of nanoparticles and virus-like particles (VLPs) for drug delivery and vaccines, as well as imaging and isotopes.

Dr. Sklar is an expert in leukocyte biology and drug discovery as well as repurposing while Dr. Prossnitz is an expert in cell signaling, as well as cell and animal physiology. Both leaders are experienced in drug discovery and development, translation and commercialization. CT has contributed significantly to the UNMCCC intellectual property through 7 current biotechnology or pharmaceutical start-up companies. The program benefits from the technological expertise in partnerships among the UNMCCC, LRRI, SNL and LANL.

The Specific Aims of the CT Program are to:

  1. Employ innovative high throughput screening and informatics platforms to conceive, design, discover, validate and repurpose novel cancer diagnostic, imaging and therapeutic agents.
  2. Employ innovative pre-clinical: a) methods (nanotechnologies & virus-like particles [VLPs]) to discover novel targeting moieties for delivery of cancer imaging and therapeutic agents and b) platforms and technologies to selectively deliver therapeutic and imaging agents to normal and cancer cells.
  3. Translate our novel cancer imaging, targeting and therapeutic agents from in vitro model systems and pre-clinical animal models to human interventional trials.

Cancer Therapeutics Researchers

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Gynecologic Oncologist

Medical Oncologist

Pediatric Medical Oncologist

Medical Oncologist