The primary goal of the Yale SPORE in Skin Cancer Developmental Research Program (DRP) is to provide limited support (maximum of $50,000/year, typically for no more than two years) for a broad spectrum of innovative skin cancer pilot projects (involving research, resources, and technology development applicable to human skin cancer risk, prevention, diagnosis, prognosis, or treatment). Such feasibility/pilot projects must have promising translational research potential, i.e., there must be the expectation that they can evolve, or be incorporated into, full projects with an unequivocal translational component, such that they could replace other completed or sub-optimally progressing projects previously funded within this SPORE. An alternative satisfactory outcome for a funded pilot project would be its development into a research project capable of successfully competing for independent, ROI-type funding. A total of at least $250,000/year will be utilized for Developmental Research Projects ($100,000 in direct costs;, $100,000 in institutional matching funds guaranteed by the Yale Cancer Center, and at least $50,000/year guaranteed by the Department of Dermatology to specifically be used to help support translation to early phase clinical trials of scientific advances made as a result of YSPORE primary/full, developmental or career development projects. A second goal of this DRP is broaden the base of investigators within the Yale research community who are actively engaged in research related to human skin cancer. During Its initial five-year funding period, from 31 new applications for funding, the YSPORE DRP has funded 16 different projects (15 related to melanoma, 1 to cutaneous T cell lymphoma) involving 27 different investigators from 12 different departments/sections. Six additional pilot projects (9 investigators from 8 departments) received more limited support via the YSPORE Administrative Core discretionary funds. A very generous gift from a grateful patient allowed the establishment of the Milstein Meyer Center for Melanoma Research, funds from which were used to further diversify YSPORE pilot/developmental research in melanoma by providing support for five additional projects (8 investigators in five departments).
The Developmental Research Program represent a critically important component of this SPORE, by providing limited support for new, innovative studies of human skin cancers. The goal is for these studies to generate enough new data that they can either obtain funding from the NIH or other equivalent sources to support additional research or be incorporated into full researh projects conducted within this SPORE.
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