Center for Early Phase Trials


  • To change the way cancer research is done so that treatments that positively impact the lives of patients can be discovered and advanced.
  • We have established that a well-performing early-phase design can have a tremendous impact on oncology drug development, increasing the chances that an effective therapy will be identified and put forward for therapeutic use


  • Empower and educate clinical investigators through team science, including refining study objectives and tailoring designs to meet those objectives.
  • Create dose-finding designs for targeted agents and immunotherapies, multi-drug combinations, patient heterogeneity, delayed toxicities, and personalized dosing.
  • We develop free user-friendly web applications for designing and conducting early-phase clinical trials, which facilitates efficient team science.

Current Members

  • Mark R. Conaway, Ph.D.  (Director)
  • Gina R. Petroni, Ph.D.  (Co-Director)
  • Bethany J. Horton, Ph.D.
  • Nikole Varhegyi, M.S.

Past Members

  • Nolan A. Wages, Ph.D. (Department of Biostatistics, VCU, Richmond – since May 2022)
  • Ben Brewer, M.S.


Design Publications