Ludwig Center

For Cancer Stem Cell Research and Medicine

Introducing the Ludwig Center

The Ludwig Center for Cancer Stem Cell Research and Medicine at Stanford is dedicated to investigating cancer and its treatment from the perspective of stem cell biology and medicine. The view that cancer is driven by cancer stem cells (CSCs) has the capacity to change the whole field of cancer research and lead to entirely new, targeted cancer therapies that cure cancer without the toxicities that are common in most current treatments.

The Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research has been a pioneer in supporting and fostering an intensive global research effort to improve our understanding and treatment of cancer. Stanford is proud to join these efforts and to be home to the Ludwig Center for Cancer Stem Cell Research and Medicine.

Funding for this center is providing the resources and talent needed to aggressively study cancer stem cells, to collaborate with other Ludwig Centers, and to apply our discoveries to cancer patients worldwide. 

Irving Weissman, MD
Director of the Ludwig Center


Working with Other Centers

Researchers at the Ludwig Center for Cancer Stem Cell Research and Medicine are engaged in active collaborations with other Ludwig Centers in Seattle, Boston and New York.

Translational Research

One of the primary missions of the Ludwig Center for Cancer Stem Cell Research and Medicine is to help translate laboratory findings into clinically useful cancer therapies.

Michael Clarke, MD (left), Deputy Director of the Ludwig Center and Karel H. and Avice N. Beekhuis Professor in Cancer Biology, and his team are applying their discoveries of cancer stem cells in human breast, colon, and head and neck tumors to improve patient diagnosis and treatment. His laboratory has discovered how cancer stem cells resist treatment by radiation or chemotherapy.

Ravindra Majeti, MD (center) has been spearheading preclinical studies of anti-CD47 antibodies, which seem to promote the ingestion of cancer cells by the body's macrophages.

Phil Beachy, PhD (right) and Michelle Monje, MD, PhD, have isolated the stem cell for a deadly childhood brain cancer, diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma. Understanding the behavior of this cancer stem cell may lead to insights about how to treat it. Beachy has long been studying how cancer is related to the repair mechanisms of normal cells. By tracing such repair pathways he has found that common compounds like an antifungal medication or arsenic have anti-cancer properties.