The Institute of Oncology Research (IOR) hosts a growing number of researchers performing basic and translational research in oncology with special focus in cancer biology, genomics, molecular oncology and experimental therapeutics.

The Institute, directed by Carlo Catapano MD, PhD, was established in 2003, formerly as the Laboratory of Experimental Oncology and as part of the Research Division of the Oncology Institute of Southern Switzerland. In September 2011 the IOR became independent and managed administratively through the Lymphoma Foundation (President, Prof. Franco Cavalli). As of January 2017, the Canton Ticino approved the integration of IOR as an academic institute within the new Faculty of Biomedical Sciences of the University of Lugano (USI).

The IOR occupies different sites in the town of Bellinzona, Canton Ticino, Switzerland. The main laboratories are located in the IRB building and, since 2017, in Via Pometta. Administrative offices, investigator offices, meeting rooms, facilities and additional laboratory space are available in Via Vela (Gallera and IRB buildings) Via Pometta, and Via Murate (IRBis building).

Since 2003 the IOR has continued in its path of expansion and strengthening its research capabilities and activities. Currently, about 60 researchers work at the IOR. Research activities are divided into two main programs, each including various research teams. The first program is dedicated to solid tumors, such as prostate cancer, and the second program deals with hematological diseases and lymphomas. Researchers working in both programs integrate biological, genomics and molecular approaches with preclinical and translational studies to understand the disease and identify new treatment strategies.

Important features of the research carried out at the IOR are its inter-disciplinarity, the integration of clinical and basic research and the continuous interaction with clinicians and researchers through a wide network of national and international collaborations. The IOR also has a very active training program for undergraduate, graduate students, post-docs and medical fellows in collaboration with Swiss (UNIGE, UNIL) and foreign Universities and, from 2017, with USI.