The Medical University of South Carolina's Hollings Cancer Center (MUSC/HCC) is committed to providing a physical and intellectual space to nurture tomorrow's leaders in clinical and translational oncology research. To accomplish this end, MUSC/HCC will establish the Paul Calabresi Clinical &Translational Oncology Training Program focused in three areas - cancer drug development, cancer immunotherapy, and cancer population sciences. The goal of this Program is to train successful, patient-oriented, clinical- and laboratory-based investigators who can work effectively in a collaborative, translational research setting. At the completion of the Program, these researchers will be able to independently design, implement and manage patient-oriented studies emphasizing both the translation of laboratory research findings into clinical applications, as well as laboratory studis examining the basic mechanisms of poorly understood clinical phenomena. Chosen participants, called Calabresi Scholars, will already hold a clinical or basic science qualifying professional degree. Clinically oriented Scholars will have recently completed postgraduate training in medical (adult or pediatric), radiation, surgical (including urology, otolaryngology, ad neurological subspecialties), or gynecologic oncology and will be ready for a first faculty appointment. Basic science Scholars will have a PhD or PharmD, will have completed at least two years of post-doctoral experience, and will be ready to develop a clinically-oriented, but laboratory-based, research program. To ensure the maturation of their knowledge base in clinical and translational research, each MUSC/HCC Calabresi Scholar will use the support from this K12 to develop a training plan within one of the three tracks in conjunction with an experienced mentoring team comprised of senior scientists (MDs and PhDs). Training will entail intensive course work (potentially leading to a Master of Science in Clinical Research) and an opportunity to participate in multiple, short-term laboratory and clinical research rotations durin the first quarter of the first year of training. This will be followed by a continuous, mentored, longitudinal laboratory and clinical research experience during the remainder of the first and second years of training. Each Scholar will be expected to complete three different but related milestones. Each Scholar will design and initiate a clinical cancer therapy trial (MD/DO Scholars) or a correlative science study (PhD/PharmD scholars), to answer a biological hypothesis-based clinical research question. As a second milestone, at least two publishable research reports should emanate from each of the Scholar's studies. Finally, the Scholar will be expected to create a fully developed grant application and submit it to a funding agency. An interdisciplinary Advisory Council will work closely with the Program Co-Directors in Year 01 to finalize all of the details of each training component and to have adequate time to recruit, externally and internally, for the best cohort of Scholars. Beginning in Year 02, the Program will appoint one or two Scholars annually, for a total of six Scholars. This MUSC/HCC Calabresi Training Program has been designed for a two year commitment. The Scholars will be selected by the Advisory Council, and the Advisory Council will also be charged to carefully monitor and evaluate each Scholar and the overall Program on a frequent and regular schedule. All Program components will utilize the considerable experience of scientists and mentors originating from MUSC's Colleges of Medicine, Pharmacy, Dental Medicine, Nursing and Graduate Medical Sciences, as well as the considerable research resources provided by the Hollings Cancer Center, a National Cancer Institute designated cancer center. The Program will also take full advantage of the career development services as part of MUSC's NIH funded Clinical and Translational Science Award. This K12 Program will provide the opportunity to maximize the HCC's potential in patient-oriented research while ensuring that the next generation of scientists is prepared to expedite the translation of science into the clinic and community. Another hallmark feature of this proposed K12 Program is that it is based in South Carolina, a state characterized by high cancer mortality, disparities and limited specialty providers, thus affording the Scholars with exceptional insight into the potential challenges of disseminating new standards of cancer care, prevention, and control emanating from the latest research.
The Hollings Cancer Center at the Medical University of South Carolina will establish a formal program to train and mentor junior physician and laboratory-based scientists from various disciplines to become leaders in clinical and translational cancer research. Each trainee participant, known as a Calabresi Scholar, will be provided salary support and an expert mentoring team along with the resources to complete tailored course work, clinical and laboratory research rotations and projects. These Scholars will bridge the knowledge derived from both the laboratory and clinic and apply that knowledge directly to establishing new, effective cancer interventions.