The Developmental Research Program (DRP) of the University of Texas SPORE in Lung Cancer is an integral part of the overall Lung Cancer SPORE research. This Program provides, after selection by external review and applicant discussion with senior SPORE investigators, a flexible and nimble platform for seed funding of novel research that have potential to significantly impact lung cancer translational research. It is designed to fund promising early stage projects that address important translational objectives in early detection, prevention, and therapy of lung cancer. Through institutional commitments at both UTSW and UTMDACC there are $300,000 in funds (that can be used for DRP or CDP Projects) matched to the $50,000 DRP funds provided by the grant. The DRP program has evolved into a highly structured process for solicitation, evaluation and collaboration with skilled scientists inside and outside UTSW and UTMDACC institutions. We want to attract new investigators to lung cancer translational research who have novel approaches and techniques that address significant barriers in lung cancer and which could benefit from SPORE Core Resources, interaction and mentorship, and that have potential to synergize with our existing Projects. The DRP has resulted in a large number of publications, new lung cancer translational scientists, and new peer reviewed grants. We have the following Specific Aims: 1. Provide Development Project funding to projects focused on lung cancer translational research. 2. Use the expertise of UTSW and MDACC scientific and clinical leaders and SPORE investigators and Core leaders to identify high impact lung cancer translational projects in the UTSW, UTMDACC and related environments. 3. Build on well-established SPORE mechanisms for mentorship of and integration with SPORE investigators, Projects, and Cores. 4. Build on the existing SPORE framework to promote communication between basic and clinical scientists, within and outside UTSW and UTMADCC, across disciplines, and guide the training of a new generation of translational researchers. 5. Facilitate development and transition of these successful projects into competitive applications for peer-reviewed funding. 6. Build on existing SPORE mechanisms to translate the findings into the clinic.
Over the last 20 years, the 5-year survival rate for lung cancer has improved only by 2%, from 13 percent to 15 percent. That statistics alone is an urgent call for accelerated translational lung cancer research. The primary objective of the DRP is to provide a source of seed funding to 1) support innovative and meritorious Lung (Dancer projects within and outside UTSW and UTMDACC;2) establish functional collaborative networks;and 3) recruit highly qualified new investigators.
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