Advances in sequencing technologies and bioinformatics have now made it possible to study comprehensively the complex landscape of the cancer genome as never before. Novel targets are being identified and conventional methods of categorizing cancer subtypes merely based on the microscopic findings are giving way to molecular genotyping. Investigators engaged in patient oriented cancer research today need to be adept in translating the rapidly emerging data from genomic analyses to the clinic. Furthermore, clinical investigators should be adequately trained to assess the comparative effectiveness of various modalities used for diagnosis and therapy to optimize clinical practice and contain the soaring health care costs. We are applying for the Paul Calabresi Career Development Award for Clinical Oncology to achieve these goals by training the next generation of clinician-investigators well versed in the three key areas relevant to patient oriented cancer research today: Cancer Genomics, Translational Medicine/Clinical Trials and Comparative Effectiveness Research. We propose to use the exceptional resources at Washington University (WU) including The Genomics Institute, Siteman Cancer Center, Clinical Research Training Center and Institute for Public Health to train the individuals selected for this program. The broad goal of the WU Clinical Oncology (K12) Paul Calabresi Career Development Program is to train a new generation of highly skilled investigators with specialized expertise who will be well prepared to lead cancer research during this exciting period with the emerging body of information from cancer genomics. Within these priorities we will focus our training in three key areas, 1) Cancer genomics, bioinformatics, analysis and their application in patient oriented research, 2) Translational Medicine with special emphasis on translating rapidly emerging genomic data to the clinic, clinical trial design, execution and analysis in this era of personalized therapy and 3 Comparative Effectiveness Research. To facilitate this, PC scholars will choose one of the three elective tracks offered by the WU PC CDP: Cancer Genomics track, Translational Medicine/ Clinical Trialist track and CER track. We propose to develop and lead collaborative learning networks with the CTSAs and other career development programs at WU to share best practices and knowledge and disseminate new training programs and curricula beyond WU Clinical Oncology K12 Program to broaden the impact of this program. WU PC scholars and other investigators benefitting from this program will learn to perform research that will provide new information addressing current evidence gaps and how to translate this knowledge into improvements in the outcomes of patients with cancer.
We are able to detect changes in the genes inside a cell more accurately now than ever before. Newer drugs that effectively block the function of certain genes can be quite effective in some patients with cancer. The costs of cancer care are increasing. To tackle all these issues effectively, the newer generation of investigators will need to be trained in all these areas as is being proposed in this application.
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