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Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) has a long and distinguished record of excellence in biological research, including cancer research. The history of cancer research at CSHL dates back to 1969, when the DNA tumor virus research program was initiated. This program was based on the realization that the study of DNA tumor viruses might provide powerful insight into the fundamental molecular and cellular biology of eukaryotic cells and to the processes of oncogenic transformation.
After early success, the program expanded, and in 1971 the Laboratory was awarded a Program Project Grant from the National Cancer Institute to fund research on DNA tumor viruses, primarily to study Simian Virus 40 and the human adenoviruses. In the early 1980's, cancer research at CSHL grew to include the study of cellular oncogenes, yeast genetics, and cell growth and cell cycle control. These highly successful endeavors formed the foundation of the present-day CSHL Cancer Center. In 1987, CSHL was awarded a Cancer Center Support Grant and is now an NCI-designated Cancer Center.