The Developmental Funds at this CCSG are also used to fund pilot projects in new research directions. The ability to provide funding for pilot projects is a highly effective mechanism for the Director and Program Leaders to influence the progress of cancer research at MIT and to rapidly respond to new opportunities and new strategic directions. It also represents a means to bring different Kl members together in collaborative projects. Pilot projects are expected to be novel and eariy-stage. They are often high risk/high reward in nature, and it is anticipated that the funding will allow for the generation of preliminary data that might form the basis of future grant applications. During the past grant period, eight pilot projects were selected for funding. Funds were awarded to projects in years 32, 34 and 37. Due to budget reductions in the CCSG, we were able to support fewer pilot projects than originally planned. However, as described below, projects that were funded have led to a series of very interesting observations, several publications and some new grant applications. In the current application, we are seeking funds sufficient to support 3 pilot projects annually. As is currentiy the case, applications will be reviewed by the Kl Director and a committee of faculty and awarded on the basis of both the quality of the application and on the novelty of the approaches proposed. Program leaders are encouraged to stimulate new directions of research within their Programs by encouraging their members to apply for pilot project funding;they also help to organize intra- and inter-programmatic collaborations. As has been true in the past, we anticipate that this mechanism will be very effective in assisting Kl members to embark on innovative research projects with potential for a significant impact on cancer diagnosis, treatment and control. With the introduction of the Koch Clinical Investigators Program as well as increased interactions with local clinical centers, there is an increased opportunity for clinically-oriented pilot projects.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Center Core Grants (P30)
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Subcommittee G - Education (NCI)
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Massachusetts Institute of Technology
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