One of the starkest realities facing the contemporary research community is the paucity of experienced investigators involved in translational pancreatic cancer research. The goal of the Career Developmental Program (CDP) is to attract, develop, and monitor the most promising investigators for translational research in pancreatic cancer. The CDP is targeted to both junior faculty and early mid-career faculty at any Mayo Clinic campus who will commit to mentored career development. We have attracted and nurtured individuals who are now committed to a pancreatic cancer research career. One of our past CDP awardees (Dr. Robert McWilliams) has developed successfully to become a Co-leader in a full translational research project in this current competing renewal application. The corps of senior pancreatic cancer researchers at Mayo Clinic, combined with highly productive investigators in other areas of cancer research, form mentoring teams. Mentoring is accompanied by close oversight by the SPORE leadership team. The Director of the CDP will report to the SPORE Director and the SPORE Steering Committee. Mayo Clinic has, by its seamless blend of patient care and basic and applied research facilities, an environment conducive to this type of mentored translational research. Because Mayo Clinic is competitive in recruiting faculty, there is a continuous pool of early but outstanding scientists and clinicians (including talented female and minority investigators) who need an impetus such as that offered by our SPORE?s proposed CDP to engage in translational research with a focus on pancreatic cancer. We will continue to implement our formal mechanisms for recruiting, selecting and evaluating awardees, and will ensure that awardees are integrated into the SPORE research environment. In all cases, we expect that recipients in the CDP will build upon the resources allocated to them to develop independent funding in pancreatic cancer research. The explicit expectation is that the awardees will utilize the resources made available to them for the development of independent research programs and acquisition of independent funding in breast cancer research. One annual award for up to $100,000 will be made ($50K from the SPORE grant, matched by Mayo Clinic Cancer Center support).
The Career Development Program will use SPORE and Cancer Center matching funds to support one awardee per year. The program seeks to attract both early- or mid-career investigators who are new to pancreatic cancer and who will make a career commitment to translational research in this cancer.
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