This P20 proposal presents a research and educational partnership between the Wake Forest University Comprehensive Cancer Center (WFUCCC) and the Departments of Biology and Chemistry of North Carolina Agricultural and Technical University (NC A&T). The objectives of the partnership are: (1) to foster cancer research collaborations between WFUCCC and NC A&T, especially research focused on cancer disparities and to facilitate the career development of minority cancer research faculty at NC A&T through collaborations with and mentoring provided by the WFUCCC;(2) to foster interest in obtaining a PhD in cancer biology among minority undergraduate and Master's degree students at NC A&T. To achieve the first objective, the P20 will provide pilot funds for two collaborative research projects: (1) Drs. Suzy Torti and Yong Chen of the WFUCCC will mentor and collaborate with Dr. Marion Franks, Assistant Professor of Chemistry at NC A&T, on a project to synthesize and evaluate novel benzylidenes as prostate cancer chemopreventive agents;(2) Dr. Waldemar Debinski, Director of the Brain Tumor Center of the WFUCCC, will mentor and collaborate with Dr. Patrick Martin, Assistant Professor of Biology at NC A&T on a project to understand the role of transcription factor Fral in glioblastoma cell mobility and resistance to therapeutics.. To achieve the second objective: (1) Selected RISE, MARC, and BLEND program undergraduates at NC A&T will participate in wet laboratory, computational biology, or health disparity outreach projects mentored by WFUCCC faculty;(2) Each pilot project team will select at least one NC A&T Master's degree student to participate in the project. The students will be offered the option of continued participation in the projects as PhD students in Cancer Biology at WFU;(3) WFUCCC and NC A&T faculty will collaborate to develop didactic teaching modules in cancer genomics and animal models of cancer for currently ongoing coursework at NC A&T. By the conclusion of the P20 it is expected that: (1) Drs. Franks and Martin and their WFUCCC collaborators will be writing joint ROls;(2) The WFUCCC and NC A&T will be writing an R25 bridge application to support enrollment of NC A&T students in the PhD program in Cancer Biology at WFU.
The need to support the development of minority scientists doing state of the art cancer research is evident. The partnership of the WFUCCCC and nearby NC A&T, an outstanding historically black university, detailed in this proposal will support the cancer research career development of two promising African-American scientists and will stimulate minority NC A&T students to pursue PhD degrees in cancer research.