The goal of the Career Development Award Program (CDAP) of the Yale SPORE in Skin Cancer is to enhance our capacity to develop a new cadre of investigative cutaneous oncologists and scientists committed to multidisciplinary studies investigating the relevance of biological discoveries in human skin cancer risk, prevention, diagnosis, prognosis or treatment, as well as to enhance and focus the careers of individuals who have already shown interest and promise in this field. Requested funding for this component of the SPORE includes $70,000 per year with $50,000 in "matching" funds from the Yale Cancer Center, to be used for the support of two faculty-level Career Development Awards per year. Funding is for one year, but may be renewed for a second year. Potential candidates for these awards include both promising junior faculty (either already holding appointments at Yale or outside candidates/new recruits for such Yale appointments), but also established Investigators, either currently at Yale or in the process of being recruited to Yale, whose previous research focus has been in other arenas, but who wish to re-orient a significant portion of their research on translational research in cutaneous oncology. All junior faculty awardees are paired with an established investigator in translational cutaneous/ oncology who also has a documented record of successful mentoring. During its initial five-year funding cycle, YSPORE CDAP funds were used to support the career development of 6 different investigators: four investigators (including one woman and one Hispanic) received support for two years each, while two others will have received support for one year each. Individuals supported to date have had diverse backgrounds and previous experience;2 PhDs, 2 MDs, and 2 MD/PhDs, with experience ranging from an established investigator in melanoma research newly recruited to Yale, to an established basic science investigator refocusing on translational investigation in cutaneous T cell lymphoma, to junior faculty just embarking on investigative careers in biostatistics, melanoma and squamous cell carcinoma. A similarly diverse group of outstanding potential future CDAP awardees have been identified for the next funding cycle.

Public Health Relevance

The Yale SPORE in Skin Cancer's Career Development Award Program has been designed to foster the development of the next generation of physician-scientists in the arena of human cutaneous malignancies. There has been a documented decrease over the past 20+ years in the numbers of individuals choosing such careers, and this program is aimed at helping to correct this problem.

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