Cell biology: a key driver of therapeutic innovation

J Cell Biol. 2012 Nov 12;199(4):571-5. doi: 10.1083/jcb.201208111.


All processes associated with cellular function are likely to contribute to disease. Particularly in the cancer field, most major therapeutic innovations have originated from the elucidation of basic molecular mechanisms by academic researchers. Recent breakthroughs in molecularly targeted drug discovery have made it clear that it is the depth with which a biological process is understood that empowers its translation. We propose that early, more strategic, support of cutting-edge academic research by industry may be more effective for translational purposes than the current model of a late selection of community-evolved projects.

MeSH terms

  • Cell Biology*
  • Drug Discovery*
  • Drug Industry
  • Molecular Targeted Therapy
  • Therapies, Investigational*