Beckman Research Institute

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Beckman Research Institute of City of Hope
Beckman Research Institute City of Hope.jpg
Beckman Research Institute at City of Hope
Established 1984
Field of research
Cancer Biology, Cancer Immunotherapeutics & Tumor Immunology, Diabetes and Metabolic Diseases Research, Immunology, Molecular and Cellular Biology, Molecular Medicine, Molecular Pharmacology, Neurosciences, Virology
Director Steven T. Rosen, M.D.
Location Duarte, California
Affiliations City of Hope National Medical Center

The Beckman Research Institute of City of Hope (BRI) is a not-for-profit medical research facility located at and partnering with the City of Hope National Medical Center in Duarte, CA, United States.[1] It is dedicated to studying normal and abnormal biological processes which may be related to cancer, diabetes, HIV/AIDS and other life-threatening diseases.[2] Both basic and clinical research are carried out in cooperation with the City of Hope National Medical Center.[1] The institute itself is organized into more than a dozen departments and divisions.[3] As of 2013, the director is Steven T. Rosen. The Beckman Research Institute also hosts the Irell & Manella Graduate School of Biological Sciences[4] whose founding dean was Arthur Riggs.[5]


The City of Hope was founded by the Jewish Consumptive Relief Association as a tuberculosis sanatorium, the Los Angeles Sanatorium, in 1913. As tuberculosis was increasingly controlled by use of antibiotics, executive director Samuel L. Golter proposed that the institution expand to become a national medical center studying other diseases. The City of Hope's Cancer Research Institute was dedicated in 1952. Since then, the research scope has continued to expand, including cancer as a major focus but also studying other life-threatening diseases. In 1983, a major challenge grant of $10 million from the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation enabled the research division of the City of Hope to undergo significant expansion and officially create the Beckman Research Institute. Funds were available for buildings, equipment, and endowment, but had to support research and the advancement of knowledge related to the "causes, prevention, and cure of human disease." The Beckman Research Institute at City of Hope was the first of five Beckman research institutes to receive funding in the United States.[2]:325–328


Research contributions[edit]

Research and treatment are closely coordinated between the City of Hope National Medical Center and the Beckman Research Institute. As of 2006, over 300 clinical trials were conducted at any one time, and at least one-third of eligible patients were enrolled in clinical trials.[1] A number of significant achievements have been reported by researchers affiliated with the Beckman Research Institute at City of Hope. These include:


Researchers associated with the Beckman Research Institute are credited with starting the biotechnology industry.[4] Keiichi Itakura and Arthur Riggs, with Genentech scientist Herbert Boyer, were the first to develop human recombinant gene products. Their techniques were used to successfully create synthetic somatostatin in E. coli, the first expression of a human protein in bacteria, in 1977. The techniques and tools of genetic synthesis were standardizable and applicable to many similar problems. The group successfully reported the expression of human insulin in bacteria by 1978.[13]

Barry Forman identified the first new steroid-like hormone in 30 years, androstanol, a hormone with a different mechanism of action from others, that may be useful in treatment of diabetes.[14][15]

Fouad Kandeel leads clinical trials testing the use of islet transplantation to treat patients who are incapacitated by severe type 1 diabetes.[16]


Arthur Riggs went on to work with Shmuel Cabilly on "fundamental technology required for the artificial synthesis of antibody molecules", since used to create "smart" cancer drugs.[17][18] Riggs has been associated with the institute in several ways, including as directory of the Beckman Research Institute from 2000-2007, now director emeritus.

Gerd Pfeifer was able to prove a definitive link between smoking and lung cancer, by demonstrating genetic damage in lung cells, caused by a chemical in cigarette smoke.[19][20]

The Beckman Research Institute has partnered with the Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation in the Health of Women Study (HOW), a long-term cohort study tracking the health of women via online and mobile platforms. It will study both women who have and who do not have breast cancer. The Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation hopes to recruit one million women volunteers to become part of its participating "Army of Women".[21][22][23]

Hua Eleanor Yu and her group are studying the involvement of STAT3 with cancer cells and the immune system, and developing possible drug treatments to attack tumor cells.[24][25]


John Rossi has worked on treatments for AIDS-related lymphoma, pancreatic cancer and liver cancer.[26] He was the first researcher to use RNA to block the progress of the virus that causes HIV/Aids by degrading the HIV virus within infected cells.[26] He is involved in ongoing work with David DiGiusto and others to develop disease-resistant immune systems by transplanting gene-modified HIV-1-resistant stem and progenitor cells.[27] With John Zaia and others, Rossi has worked on Lentiviral vectors for delivering RNA-based gene therapy. This approach combines stem cell and gene therapy to deliver RNA molecules that can block the genes that the HIV/AIDS virus uses to infect immune cells.[28][29][30][31] John Zaia is also investigating the possibility that cancer chemotherapy can perturb reservoirs of HIV, which has relevance to therapeutic interventions to cure HIV.[32]


As of December 2011, Charity Watch rated the Beckman Research Institute of City of Hope as an "A-" grade charity.[33]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Winograd, Claudia (2007). "City of Hope". In Colditz, Graham A. Encyclopedia of cancer and society. Los Angeles: Sage Publications. pp. 206–208. ISBN 978-1412949897. Retrieved 13 May 2015. 
  2. ^ a b Arnold Thackray; Minor Myers, Jr. (2000). Arnold O. Beckman : one hundred years of excellence. foreword by James D. Watson. Philadelphia, Pa.: Chemical Heritage Foundation. ISBN 978-0-941901-23-9. 
  3. ^ "Beckman Research Institute Departments and Divisions". City of Hope. Archived from the original on 10 May 2015. Retrieved 13 May 2015. 
  4. ^ a b Peterson's graduate programs in the biological sciences 2012. (46th ed.). Lawrenceville, NJ: Peterson's. 2012. ISBN 978-0768932829. 
  5. ^ "Arthur D. Riggs". Keck Graduate Institute. Retrieved 13 May 2015. 
  6. ^ "Joseph Holden Obituary". Los Angeles Times. February 17, 2013. 
  7. ^ "Dr. John S. Kovach Named Founding Director Of Cancer Institute Of Long Island". Stony Brook News. Oct 23, 2000. Retrieved 13 May 2015. 
  8. ^ "Long Island Cancer Center to Partner With Community Long Island Cancer Center to Partner With Community". Cancer Network. August 1, 2001. Retrieved 13 May 2015. 
  9. ^ "Arthur D. Riggs, Ph.D.". City of Hope. Retrieved 13 May 2015. 
  10. ^ a b "Shop Talk". Oncology Times. 30 (4): 46. February 2008. doi:10.1097/01.COT.0000313058.01959.01. Retrieved 13 May 2015. Richard Jove, PhD, has been named Director of the City of Hope Beckman Research Institute. In his new appointment, Dr. Jove, who is also Deputy Director of the City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center, will lead the research institute's efforts to bring together basic scientists and physicians in order to accelerate the development of new therapies for cancer, diabetes, and other life-threatening diseases. He succeeds Arthur Riggs, PhD, now Director Emeritus and Professor of Biology at the Beckman Research Institute. 
  11. ^ Vorwald, Catherine E. (July 1, 2013). "Dr. Richard Jove Joins VGTI Florida as the New Institute Director". Business Wire. Retrieved 13 May 2015. 
  12. ^ "Steven T. Rosen, M.D.". City of Hope. Retrieved 13 May 2015. 
  13. ^ Stern, Scott (1994). "Incentives and Focus in University and Industrial Research: The Case of Synthetic Insulin". In Gelijns, Annetine C.; Rosenberg, Nathan; Committee on Technological Innovation in Medicine, Institute of Medicine. The sources of innovation : universities and industry. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press. pp. 157–187. ISBN 0309051894. 
  14. ^ "New Steroid Hormone has Allure Of Its Own". Salk Institute for Biological Studies. October 8, 1998. 
  15. ^ "Researchers Identify First New Steroid-Like Hormone in 30 Years". Los Angeles Times. October 8, 1998. Retrieved 13 May 2015. 
  16. ^ Moran, Gwen (2012). "The California Cure Harvesting Hope: Dr. Fouad Kandeel". Los Angeles Times Magazine. Retrieved 13 May 2015. 
  17. ^ Meland, Marius (April 24, 2004). "Judge Dismisses MedImmune's Patent Suit Vs. Genentech". Law360. Retrieved 13 May 2015. 
  18. ^ Lewis, Wayne (June 10, 2013). "Art Riggs: Smart cancer drugs and how they came to be". City of Hope Breakthroughs. Retrieved 13 May 2015. 
  19. ^ STOUT, DAVID (October 18, 1996). "Direct link found between smoking and lung cancer". New York Times. Retrieved 13 May 2015. 
  20. ^ Hecht, Stephen S.; Carmella, Steven G.; Murphy, Sharon E.; Foiles, Peter G.; Chung, Fung-Lung (1993). "Carcinogen biomarkers related to smoking and upper aerodigestive tract cancer". Journal of Cellular Biochemistry. 53 (S17F): 27–35. doi:10.1002/jcb.240531005. 
  21. ^ "The Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation And The Beckman Research Institute of City of Hope Launch The Groundbreaking Health of Women Study". PR Newswire. October 2, 2012. Retrieved 14 May 2015. 
  22. ^ "Army of Women working for a future without breast cancer". Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation. Retrieved 14 May 2015. 
  23. ^ Carrera, Krysten (2010-12-10). "Author Susan Love Visits NCI". NIH Record. 
  24. ^ Bronchud, Miguel H. (2008). Principles of molecular oncology (3rd ed.). Totowa, NJ: Humana Press. ISBN 978-1-59745-470-4. Retrieved 5 November 2015. 
  25. ^ Dranoff, Glenn (2011). Cancer Immunology and Immunotherapy. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer Berlin Heidelberg. pp. 47–48. ISBN 978-3-642-14136-2. Retrieved 5 November 2015. 
  26. ^ a b Raney, Rebecca Fairley (August 24, 2012). "John Rossi is fighting HIV with gene therapy". AAAS Member Science. Retrieved 13 May 2015. 
  27. ^ DiGiusto, David; Stan, Rodica; Krishnan, Amrita; Li, Haitang; Rossi, John; Zaia, John (November 22, 2013). "Development of Hematopoietic Stem Cell Based Gene Therapy for HIV-1 Infection: Considerations for Proof of Concept Studies and Translation to Standard Medical Practice". Viruses. 2013 (5): 2898–2919. doi:10.3390/v5112898. 
  28. ^ DiGiusto, D. L.; Krishnan, A.; Li, L.; Li, H.; Li, S.; Rao, A.; Mi, S.; Yam, P.; Stinson, S.; Kalos, M.; Alvarnas, J.; Lacey, S. F.; Yee, J.-K.; Li, M.; Couture, L.; Hsu, D.; Forman, S. J.; Rossi, J. J.; Zaia, J. A. (16 June 2010). "RNA-Based Gene Therapy for HIV with Lentiviral Vector-Modified CD34+ Cells in Patients Undergoing Transplantation for AIDS-Related Lymphoma". Science Translational Medicine. 2 (36): 36ra43–36ra43. doi:10.1126/scitranslmed.3000931. PMC 3130552Freely accessible. PMID 20555022. 
  29. ^ White, Nicole. "City of Hope awarded $8 million to launch stem cell therapy clinic focused on fighting incurable disease". City of Hope Press Release. Retrieved 13 May 2015. 
  30. ^ Chung, Janet; Scherer, Lisa J; Gu, Angel; Gardner, Agnes M; Torres-Coronado, Monica; Epps, Elizabeth W; DiGiusto, David L; Rossi, John J (28 February 2014). "Optimized Lentiviral Vectors for HIV Gene Therapy: Multiplexed Expression of Small RNAs and Inclusion of MGMTP140K Drug Resistance Gene". Molecular Therapy. 22 (5): 952–963. doi:10.1038/mt.2014.32. 
  31. ^ McCormack, Kevin; Lytal, Cristy (December 2, 2014). "California stem cell agency celebrates 10 years of progress". USC News. Retrieved 14 May 2015. 
  32. ^ "amfAR Consortium To Speed Search for HIV/AIDS Cure". amfAR Making Aids History. May 11, 2010. Retrieved 14 May 2015. 
  33. ^ Charity Rating Guide and Watchdog Report, Volume Number 59, December 2011