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Cancer Research Translational Initiative (CRTI)

CRTI facilitates the transition of novel ideas and treatments from laboratory to the clinic and community. CRTI supports both therapeutic and non-therapeutic investigator-initiated translational research and serves as a one-stop source for all your translational needs at the Masonic Cancer Center. Accelerate your translational research with CRTI.

"Today's research is tomorrow's hope for a cure."


View this page for a comprehensive list of translational research resources

CRTI Services

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Connect investigators to resources and services

  • Pre-IND and IND assistance and, pre-ITP and ITP assistance for tobacco products
  • Product manufacture and validation
  • Correlative research planning
  • Facilitate development of Phase 0 and Phase 1 studies


Fund promising translational ideas in therapeutic and non-therapeutic areas

Any publications or presentations from CRTI funding must recognize the Cancer Center for support, using the phrase: "Support for this study (research) was provided by the Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota".


Data Management (Data Solutions Group)

Data Solutions Group (DSG): Support comprehensive clinical trial data management

  • Data Management Plan
  • Development of eCRFs
  • Maintenance of data quality throughout the life cycle of a trial
  • OnCore and REDCap support
  • Dashboard Mapping
  • Data output model and data visualization
  • Reporting trial data to and Clinical Trials Reporting Program (CTRP)

Cancer Biospecimen and Data (DBUC)

Data and Biospecimen Utilizing Committee (DBUC): Oversee cancer biospecimen management

  • Biobanks and repositories
  • Specimen and linkage to medical data
  • IRB approved umbrella protocols
  • Freezerworks support for MCC faculty

Industry Partnership

Improve collaborations between MCC investigators and industry partners

  • Serve as a liaison between MCC and industry partner
    • Facilitate collaborative Sponsored Research Projects
    • Facilitate collaborative Investigator-Initiated Trials
  • Organize business meetings and visits
  • Discuss milestones and timelines
  • Deal with issues and concerns
  • Connect TTL services and data sharing
  • Connect MCT services
  • Coordinate licensing and research collaboration agreements

Translational Support

  • Oversee Translational Working Group (TWG)
  • Oversee Developmental Therapeutics Clinic (DTC)
  • Oversee Inter-disciplinary Experimental Therapeutics  (IDET) meetings
  • Express Training in Cancer Translational Research for New and Junior Faculty
  • CRTI Symposium
  • Translational Retreat

CRTI Contacts

Previous Grant Awardees

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Previous Translational Research Awardees (2017-2021)


Role and Reduction of Vascular Activation in Myeloproliferative Neoplasm Thrombosis
Joan Beckman, MD, PhD, Division of Hematology, Oncology and Transplantation, Medical School


Clinical Translation of Oncolytic Adenovirus to facilitate Radioiodine Therapy and Imaging for Pancreatic Adenocarcinoma 
Julia Davydova, MD, PhD Department of Surgery, Medical School

Co-opting NKG2A inhibitory signaling for cancer immunotherapy 
Ingunn Stromnes, PhD, Department of Microbiology & Immunology, Medical School


Developing more effective regulatory T cell therapeutics using non-viral control of gene expression
Keli Hippen, PhD, Department of Pediatrics, Medical School
Bruce Blazar, MD, Department of Pediatrics, Medical School

Endoglin, A Potential Novel Target for AML
Rita Perlingeiro, PhD, Department of Medicine, Medical School
Sarah Cooley, MD, Department of Medicine, Medical School


Radioiodine-Based Therapy and Imaging for Pancreatic Cancer
Julia Davydova, MD, PhD, Department of Surgery, Medical School
Edward Greeno, MD, Department of Medicine, Medical School

Immune Response in Refractory Metastatic Melanoma Patients Undergoing Radiation Therapy
Evidio Domingo-Musibay, MD, Department of Medicine, Medical School
Heather Nelson, PhD, MPH, Department of Epidemiology and Community Health, School of Public Health

Previous Translational Working Group Awardees (2017 - 2022)


The Two Faces of FOXA1 Alterations in Metastatic Prostate Cancer, and their Therapeutic Implications
Justin Hwang, PhD
Division of Hematology, Oncology and Transplantation, Medical School

Engineered Exosome Based Treatment Strategy for Colorectal Cancer
Subree Subramanian, PhD
Basic & Translational Research, Department of Surgery, Medical School


DNA Repair Inhibition to Kill APOBEC3B-Positive Clear Cell Ovarian Carcinoma
Britt Erickson, University of Minnesota - Medical School - Obstetrics, Gynecology and Women's Health

Effects of Kava on Anxiety and Stress in Cancer Survivors
Naomi Fujioka, University of Minnesota - Medical School - Medicine           

Identification and targeting of protein complexes in breast cancer
Julie Ostrander, University of Minnesota - Medical School - Medicine    


Targeted Proteomics to Identify AR Splice Variants in Prostate Cancer
Justin Drake, PhD, Department of Pharmacology, Medical School

Prognostic and Therapeutic Significance of T-cell Senescence and Exhaustion in Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia  
Fiona He, MD, Division of Hematology, Oncology and Transplantation, Department of Medicine, Medical School 


Generation of a screening platform and antigen receptors for therapeutically targeting gastrointestinal malignancies with engineered lymphocytes
Ingunn Stromnes, PhD, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Medical School
Gastrointestinal TWG 

Imaging CD133 in Aggressive Variant Prostate Cancer by Positron Emission Tomography
Aaron LeBeau, PhD, Department of Pharmacology, Medical School
Prostate and Urologic TWG


Targeting RALB signaling to enhance NK immunotherapy for acute myeloid leukemia
Craig Eckfeldt, MD, PhD, Department of Medicine, Medical School
Heme Malignancy TWG

Breast Cancer Translational Working Group Pilot Project - Creation of a Tissue Microarray
Andrew Nelson, MD, PhD, Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, Medical School
Breast Cancer TWG

Previous Exceptional Translational Research Awardees (2021-2022)

Pre-clinical testing of a B7-H3 targeting chimeric antigen receptor NK (B7-H3 CAR-iNK) construct in preparation for a first-in-human glioblastoma trial
Jianfang Ning, PhD, Jeffrey Miller, MD
Minnesota Annotated Genomics In Cancer (MAGIC) - An interactive multi-omics portal to study Masonic Cancer Center prostate cancer patients
Justin Hwang, PhD, Emmanuel Antonarakis, MD, Jinhua Wang, PhD


RET Degraders for Treating Neuroendocrine Prostate Cancer
Justin Drake, PhD, Dan Harki, PhD

Engineered T cell therapy for poor prognosis cancers
Ingunn Stromnes, PhD, Jeff Miller, MD, Edward Greeno, MD