We have selected four developmental projects using the criteria that 'developmental projects should provide an avenue for introducing and integrating new investigators and innovative technologies and/or methodologies into the ICMIC infrastructure and molecular imaging'. The four developmental projects cover a range of topics, such as (i) force propagation in melanoma cancer progression, (ii) imaging peritumoral stromal depletion as a surrogate for treatment efficacy in pancreatic cancer, (iii) lung-specific Twist mediated epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) in lung premetastatic niche, and (iv) blockade of the hypoxia inducible factor (HIF)-1 pathway in bone metastasis from renal cancer. Three of the developmental projects are contributed by clinician-scientists and demonstrate the strong engagement of clinicians in the JHU ICMIC Program. The developmental projects will utilize the infrastructure provided by the resources. These projects are also strongly interactive with the research components. As this is an area of high priority, we have obtained additional funds of $24K per year from the Chairman of the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center, $10K per year from the Chairman of Biomedical Engineering, and $10K for the first two years from the Chairman of Radiation Oncology to supplement the Developmental Fund. We therefore anticipate funding 10-15 pilot projects within the course of the five-year program. During the previous funding period we supported eleven developmental projects. Six of these initial projects transformed into funded grants. We anticipate that the new developmental projects and the investigators will continue the exciting trend of high risk, high reward research of molecular imaging in cancer.
The developmental projects that we have selected will enable outstanding investigators to incorporate molecular imaging to provide new perspectives and insights into their research. These developmental projects, if successful, will provide advances in the discovery and treatment of cancer.
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