The Vanderbilt Clinical Oncology Research Career Development Program (VCORCDP) is designed to provide senior oncology fellows, junior clinical oncology faculty and post-doctoral PhD trainees with the tools and experience to conduct clinical oncology trial research. The goal of the Vanderbilt Clinical Oncology Research Career Development Program (VCORCDP) is to train skilled clinician scientists who can design and implement all phases of clinical oncology trial research and effectively lead translational research projects involving clinicians and basic scientists. We hope to increase the number of clinicians (M.D.s) and basic scientists (PhDs) who are trained to design, manage and interpret hypothesis-based pilot/Phase I, Phase II and Phase III cancer therapeutic trials in team research settings. The two cores of the VCORCDP are 1) a mentored research experience and 2) a didactic lecture and seminar series leading to a Master's degree from Vanderbilt University. Trainees will choose from a faculty of 38 high caliber mentors who possess cancer-related research experience and a commitment to training. All trainees will be involved in at least one clinical research project which must involve a laboratory experience. Trainees will collaborate with a team of multidisciplinary clinicians and basic/behavioral scientists to perform clinical oncology therapeutic research. Trainees will choose a didactic program leading to a Master's degree, usually the Master's of Science in Clinical Investigation or Master's of Public Health from Vanderbilt. The applicant pool will primarily consist of physicians who are senior fellows or junior faculty in the Divisions of Medical, Surgical, Pediatric or Radiation Oncology. In this renewal application, we also plan to expand our successful VCORCDP training program to include training of PhD post-doctoral fellows interested in clinical oncology research. All trainees are guaranteed supported for a minimum of a two year period. Their progress is carefully monitored by the trainee's mentor(s), the VCORCDP Program Director, the VCORCDP Advisory Committee and the Director's of the Master's degree program. Trainees who are deemed not putting forth adequate effort can be terminated from the program. The VCORCDP Advisory Committee can provide trainees with an additional period of support (generally 1 year) if deemed appropriate. The VCORCDP requests 5 years of funding to enter three MDs and one PhD trainee each year. Over the past 9 years, the VCORCDP has successfully trained 22 physicians. Based on the past success of the program, we believe it should be continued and expanded for another funding period.

Public Health Relevance

The Vanderbilt Clinical Oncology Research Career Development Program (VCORCDP) is designed to train young physicians and basic science investigators to perform clinical studies to improve the care of patients with cancer. The training must involve direct care of cancer patients and an understanding the ethical and scientific responsibilities required of an investigator in undertaking such studies. The VCORCDP should provide the next generation of physician-scientist who can advance cancer treatment.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Physician Scientist Award (Program) (PSA) (K12)
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Subcommittee G - Education (NCI)
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Damico, Mark W
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Vanderbilt University Medical Center
Internal Medicine/Medicine
Schools of Medicine
United States
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