The Developmental Research Program of the University of Pittsburgh Head and Neck Cancer SPORE will continue to be carried out for the purpose of identifying and facilitating innovative new pilot projects in head and neck cancer research. The specific goals of this Program are: 1) to provide seed funding opportunities for initial investigation of promising novel research in head and neck cancer;2) to stimulate basic, clinical, and translational head and neck cancer research in areas of high priority to the Head and Neck Cancer SPORE;3) to facilitate development of pilot projects into full project status in the Head and Neck Cancer SPORE or to be competitive for independent Investigator-initiated proposals to other funding agencies;and 4) to increase the visibility of Head and Neck Cancer SPORE activities and increase participation among the institution's clinicians and researchers. Our design for the Developmental Research Program in this renewal application is similar to the process used during the first grant period, which proved successful. Drs. William L. Bigbee, Susanne M. Gollin and Jonas T. Johnson, with ongoing experience in administering this Developmental Program, will continue to provide leadership for translational research. The Developmental Research Program will utilize institutional web-based resources and printed announcements to notify the research community at the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University of the availability of research funds to support pilot projects in head and neck cancer. In response to the new SPORE guidelines encouraging inter-institutional collaboration, we will also make the program available to our sister Cancer Centers in Philadelphia, who are part of the stateside Pennsylvania Cancer Control Consortium (PAC-3) initiative. A standing Developmental Research Program Committee, together with ad hoc reviewers with specific expertise as needed drawn from the UPCI, UPMC, the Head and Neck Cancer SPORE External Advisory Board, or other Head and Neck SPOREs will provide rigorous and consistent peer review of the solicited project proposals. The proposed Developmental Research Program budget will include $100,000 per year in funds form the NCI through this proposal, together with an additional $100,000 per year in matching funds from the Department of Otolaryngology (through the Eye and Ear Foundation of Pittsburgh) and the UPCI. Proposals will be solicited and reviewed on an annual basis and grants of $30,000-$50,000 per year for 1-2 years will be awarded to the most meritorious proposals. These activities of the Developmental Research Program will continue to stimulate innovative research toward meeting the translational goals of the Head and Neck Cancer SPORE: reduction in the incidence, morbidity, and mortality from head and neck cancer.

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National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Specialized Center (P50)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZCA1-GRB-I)
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University of Pittsburgh
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Li, Jing; Jie, Hyun-Bae; Lei, Yu et al. (2015) PD-1/SHP-2 inhibits Tc1/Th1 phenotypic responses and the activation of T cells in the tumor microenvironment. Cancer Res 75:508-18
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