MD Anderson uses several external and internal review mechanisms for planning and evaluation to develop and improve the cancer center. External Reviews: For the past 27 years, MD Anderson has used funding from the CCSG to support an External Advisory Board (EAB), consisting of a group of 30 distinguished scientific advisors that meets annually at MD Anderson to provide advice to Dr. DePinho, CCSG senior leadership, CCSG program leaders, and CCSG shared resource directors. The objectives of the EAB are to review research programs and shared resources, and evaluate their productivity, excellence, and alignment with institutional goals;to identify gaps in scientific expertise or capabilities and to suggest options for closing these gaps;to consider new programs or restructuring of existing programs;to assist in recruiting outstanding faculty to the institution;to evaluate the extent of collaboration between basic scientists, translational/clinical scientists, and population-based investigators, recommending actions to enhance interactivity among these three groups: External reviews of shared resources consist of visits by an ad hoc EAB of 3 outside experts specific to each core and have been conducted for 7 of the 16 shared resources presented in this application. Plans are to extend these reviews to additional shared resources. Internal Reviews: Mechanisms for internal review of research programs, shared resources, and research planning include formal Research Council presentations of programs and shared resources, the Institutional Clinical Executive Committee (ICEC) and the Institutional Research Executive Committee (IREC), which advise Dr. DePinho on strategic issues related to clinical and research activities, and the CCSG Executive Committee which oversees CCSG program and shared resource development in the context of the broader institutional research strategy. Surveys, focus groups, and user committees have also reviewed each shared resource during the current grant period. Strategic Planning: A comprehensive planning exercise across a broad, multidisciplinary perspective, the Moon Shot developed proposals for 11 cancers that integrate all aspects of the cancer continuum - prevention, early detection, diagnosis, treatment, and survivorship to impact survival over the next several years. Five of these areas will be selected for intensive organization and support. All CCSG programs are intimately involved with the development of these plans, which will chart the course for future programmatic research.
The EAB adds value as a quality-assurance mechanism and sounding board for research initiatives by bringing together a diverse and distinguished group of cancer research leaders whose recommendations often reflect current best practices in leading biomedical research centers and who provide objectivity only available through outside counsel.
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