Translational research into thyroid cancer is underdeveloped relative to its growing incidence, impact on public health and to the scientific opportunities that could be exploited. The Developmental Research Program will play an_essential role in fostering research into the disease. We will use DRP funding supplemented by a strong commitment of institutional funds to support innovative projects by new and established investigators, which are critical to the generation of new ideas in thyroid cancer diagnosis and treatment. Our goal is to establish mechanisms for rapid funding of important new directions to accelerate progress towards the translational research goals of our SPORE. We identified a credible portfolio of promising developmental research projects, which will be competing for support once the program is established. We will request thyroid pilot project proposals with translational potential from clinical and basic investigators within the larger MSKCC community, including Rockefeller University, New York-Presbyterian Hospital, Weill Medical College of Cornell University, as well as from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. We will then select the most promising new projects for support after rigorous peer review by the Executive Committee, the Internal Advisory Committee and the Patient Advocates. The opinion of external reviewers will be solicited as needed. Pilot projects will be funded for 1 year, but investigators may apply for additional funding through this same competitive process the next year. Every year the Internal Advisory Committee and the Executive Committee members meet to review each research project, core and developmental pilot project. Committee members will be asked to assess whether any developmental project has progressed sufficiently and shown enough translational potential so as to eclipse that of one ofthe full research projects. The committee members will then vote and decide whether any developmental project should be advanced to full research status. If so, the budgets will be appropriately adjusted, and sent for final approval to the Physician-in-Chief and the Director of the SKI, after consultation with the TRP of the NCI.
The goal ofthe DRP is to expand the investigator base and scope of translational research in thyroid cancer. We will use DRP funding supplemented by a strong commitment of institutional funds to support innovative projects by new and established investigators, which are critical to the generation of new directions in thyroid cancer research and to meet our translational objectives.