The Center


The Center of Developmental Therapeutics (CDT) was founded in 2009 with the mission of becoming an entry portal for pre-clinical drug development. Operating under the leadership of its director, Dr. Thomas O'Halloran, it was initially set up to focus on cancer drug development and has since expanded beyond the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center (RHLCCC) to serve all clinical and basic sciences researchers in the NU community. This significantly enhances the medical mission of the university and serves to advance the One Northwestern initiative.

Objectives of CDT:

Internally in Northwestern

  • Identify and assist with development (bench to clinic including IND process) on internal translational projects
  • Identify, connect and assist with development of external (outside Northwestern) academic projects of interest to Northwestern investigators
  • Identify, connect and assist with development of external industry projects of interest to Northwestern investigators
  • Collaborate on preparation of drug development grants
  • Collaborate on preparation of clinical trial grants
  • Collaborate on program projects and other large scale funding applications (implement, develop and manage the Developmental Therapeutics Core (DTC) to support translational projects by providing a broad spectrum of services: animal models, cell based experiments, target based experiments, drug pre-formulation, analytical method development, PD and biomarker method development, exploratory PK and toxicology
  • Identify and collaborate with existing University resources e.g. Clinical Pharmacology Core to fulfill translational needs
  • Provide pilot funding to facilitate translational collaborations


  • Assist in the initiation of new, spin-out companies working on NU technologies or on collaborations with other universities and industry
  • Contribute to the due diligence process
  • Assist these companies in developing business plans, raising capital and formulating development plans, road shows and presentations for potential partners and investors
  • Generate additional value to specific therapeutic compounds by advancing them further through development or by addressing specific developmental questions that represent barriers to deal completion

The Center resides in the Richard and Barbara Silverman Hall for Molecular Therapeutics & Diagnostics on Northwestern University's Evanston campus.