The purpose of the Developmental Research Program (DRP) is to stimulate the initiation, development and implementation of innovative research within the University of Pittsburgh Skin Cancer SPORE. The UPCI has sponsored a substantial amount of developmental research in the Melanoma and Skin Cancers Program (MSCP) over the past 20 years on an ad hoc basis, as new faculty with interests in these cancers have been recruited and as compelling new research concepts or infrastructure has been required to support these efforts. As an important component of this application for a Skin Cancer SPORE, we propose to shift to a more formal and regular pilot project program.
The Specific Aims of the DRP are: 1. To stimulate the initiation of novel research concepts related to melanoma and other skin cancers, that exhibit promise for development into full, translational research projects to be sponsored prospectively by the Skin Cancer SPORE 2. To stimulate the development of existing translational research concepts that have been applied successfully to other neoplasms/diseases, but that have not yet been applied to melanoma or other skin cancers, and which would be expected to develop into full projects sponsored prospectively by the Skin Cancer SPORE 3. To facilitate the development of research that may yield full projects to be sponsored prospectively by the SPORE 4. To increase the visibility of the SPORE'S basic and clinical research activities in order to increase the participation of basic scientists on the one hand, and clinicians and patients on the other, thereby fortifying the SPORE'S research efforts We intend to utilize the SPORE DRP to complement existing funding mechanisms that are available to the scientific and clinical investigation community of the UPCI and the University of Pittsburgh at large, including the UPCI's pilot grant program, the recently initiated Hillman Foundation Fellows in Innovative Cancer Research program, the Competitive Medical Research Fund of the UPMC, and departmental research support. To accomplish these goals, $150,000 of institutional support has been committed to provide sufficient levels for funding to underwrite two concurrent DRP proposals per year (i.e., $75,000 for each project). Awards will be made for one year, with the possibility for competitive renewal for a second year, pending significant progress made during the initial period of support.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Specialized Center (P50)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZCA1-RPRB-M)
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
University of Pittsburgh
United States
Zip Code
Retseck, Janet; VanderWeele, Robert; Lin, Hui-Min et al. (2016) Phenotypic and functional testing of circulating regulatory T cells in advanced melanoma patients treated with neoadjuvant ipilimumab. J Immunother Cancer 4:38
Scharping, Nicole E; Menk, Ashley V; Moreci, Rebecca S et al. (2016) The Tumor Microenvironment Represses T Cell Mitochondrial Biogenesis to Drive Intratumoral T Cell Metabolic Insufficiency and Dysfunction. Immunity 45:374-88
Villalona-Calero, Miguel A; Duan, Wenrui; Zhao, Weiqiang et al. (2016) Veliparib Alone or in Combination with Mitomycin C in Patients with Solid Tumors With Functional Deficiency in Homologous Recombination Repair. J Natl Cancer Inst 108:
Bengsch, Bertram; Johnson, Andy L; Kurachi, Makoto et al. (2016) Bioenergetic Insufficiencies Due to Metabolic Alterations Regulated by the Inhibitory Receptor PD-1 Are an Early Driver of CD8(+) T Cell Exhaustion. Immunity 45:358-73
Sottile, Rosa; Pangigadde, Pradeepa N; Tan, Thomas et al. (2016) HLA class I downregulation is associated with enhanced NK-cell killing of melanoma cells with acquired drug resistance to BRAF inhibitors. Eur J Immunol 46:409-19
Fan, Yiping; Lee, Seungjae; Wu, Gang et al. (2016) Telomerase Expression by Aberrant Methylation of the TERT Promoter in Melanoma Arising in Giant Congenital Nevi. J Invest Dermatol 136:339-42
Davar, Diwakar; Kirkwood, John M (2016) Adjuvant Therapy of Melanoma. Cancer Treat Res 167:181-208
Butterfield, Lisa H (2016) Lessons learned from cancer vaccine trials and target antigen choice. Cancer Immunol Immunother 65:805-12
Zarour, Hassane M (2016) Reversing T-cell Dysfunction and Exhaustion in Cancer. Clin Cancer Res 22:1856-64
Blackler, Ryan J; Evans, Dylan W; Smith, David F et al. (2016) Single-chain antibody-fragment M6P-1 possesses a mannose 6-phosphate monosaccharide-specific binding pocket that distinguishes N-glycan phosphorylation in a branch-specific manner†. Glycobiology 26:181-92

Showing the most recent 10 out of 162 publications