This COBRE will focus a diverse group of scientists on the central theme of enabling discovery of new therapeutic leads and molecules that can probe the function of biological targets. This COBRE represents a new scientific direction for the University of Delaware, and a strong administrative framework will be necessary to oversee fiscal oversight and scientific progress, to implement evaluation strategies, and to create and implement an effective mentoring plan. Further, the administrative core of this COBRE will develop the research, research training and career development goals for the center and the affiliated faculty. Outlined is a plan for leadership ofthe COBRE underthe direction of PI Fox. Plans for leading and administering the center are detailed, and plans for managing collaborations with the National Cancer Institute and the Nemours Center for Childhood Cancer Research are outlined. Milestones for the COBRE are described, as are strategies for summative and formative evaluation. The primary bodies for summative evaluation of progress toward milestones will be the Internal Advisory Committee (IAC), Internal and External Mentors, and an External Advisory Committee (EAC). Formative assessment and support for the COBRE researchers will also occur in COBRE science meetings and will be integrated with the mentoring program. This COBRE will provide a network of support for junior faculty, which will enable them to launch successful research programs and attain independent investigator status. This mentoring program will provide fundamental guidance for scientific growth and career advancement, with advisement that centers on goal setting, developing scientific ideas, lab management, student advisement, manuscript preparation, networking, grant writing, work-life balance, and creating and promoting a visible research program. Described are plans for the expansion ofthe core of faculty members involved in the center, as well as plans for transitioning investigators to independent status. Mechanisms for retaining successful faculty are detailed, as are plans to create an international seminar series. Finally, described are the ways that the COBRE will enhance infrastructure for supporting Women in Science and Engineering.
The medicinal field is currently limited by the ability to discover new classes of molecules that can probe and treat human disease. The proposed work will have impact on discovery of molecules that can be used to study and treat a number of diseases, including cancer, Crohn's disease, Huntington's disease, Alzheimer's disease, and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.