The Developmental Research Program is designed to support new ideas and concepts that can be incorporated into translational research projects designed to solve clinical problems in lung cancer diagnosis and therapy. The program is directed by the Developmental Research committee which makes recommendations to the Executive committee after review of each application and progress report. The Developmental Research committee is chaired by Dr. Bunn and includes members from each project and shared core resource, an advocate, a representative from NJH and two non-SPORE members. The committee receives advice from the External and Internal Advisory boards. Solicitations for new awards are sent campus wide and to all affiliated institutions. Each application is reviewed by all committee members and assigned a priority score on the basis of 1) scientific merit to impact the lung cancer burden, 2) the likelihood that the project can lead to subsequent independent funding as a full project, ROI or other fully funded project, 3) the projected interactions and collaborations between the pilot project and the SPORE, 4) the qualifications of the basic and clinical scientists involved in the pilot project, and 5) the translational potential of the proposed project. Based on the final priority scores, the Developmental Research Committee makes recommendations to the Executive Committee for final allocation of funds. Over the past 5 years there 60 applications and 14 awards totaling $700,000. Results from 4 of these projects awarded to Drs. Weiser-Evans, DeGregori, Doebele, and Heasley have been incorporated into projects proposed in this renewal and 7 of the 12 awardees are investigators in our proposed projects. Eleven of the 12 awardees continue lung cancer research. Work from 3 of the projects led to NCI R01 awards (Weiser-Evans, DeGregori, and Heasley). Other peer-reviewed follow-up lung cancer grants have been awarded to Drs. Reyland and Doebele. Work on the two most recent projects for 2012-2013 will start soon and work from last year's three awards is nearing completion. The program has been successful in replenishing new ideas to incorporate into new SPORE projects as older projects complete their goals and in developing new ideas that can be continued with other grant support.
New research ideas are critical for studies designed to improve lung cancer diagnosis, prevention and therapy but are difficult to fund. The Developmental Research program (DRP) funds novel ideas that have the potential to transform the way we approach subjects at risk for lung cancer and with a lung cancer diagnosis. The DRP has been successful in changing the content and direction of our new SPORE projects and in obtaining external support of successful projects.
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