More than 150,000 cases of hematologic malignancies are newly diagnosed each year. The American Society of Hematology (ASH) proposes the program entitled "Training and Mentorship of Hematologic Oncologists" to develop clinician scientists who can help improve outcomes of these patients but face obstacles in their professional development. The ASH Clinical Research Training Institute (CRTI) assists cancer scientists in becoming successful researchers by providing formal education in clinical research methods, offering expert advice on the design of clinical studies, and mentoring CRTI trainees. Established in 2003, CRTI is an innovative, year-long program that provides (1) extensive education in clinical research methods;(2) one-on-one exposure to leaders in the field of cancer research;(3) the opportunity for junior investigators to form peer networks with domestic and international counterparts;and (4) formal mentorship from successful clinical researchers. The Institute consists of a week-long Summer Workshop that includes interactive didactic presentations (20 hours), small group discussions (14 hours), career development sessions (5 hours), trainee-driven "Sessions on Demand" (4 hours), training in the Responsible Conduct of Research (more than 3 hours), and numerous hours of one-on-one and ad hoc group discussions. The Summer Workshop (in August) is followed by the December Class and the Final Class (in May) during which the entire class convenes to discuss their progress and obstacles. Each trainee identifies a CRTI mentor with whom he or she works during the entire program year to ensure career and research progress. CRTI accepts 20 trainees annually. Approximately 65% of trainees each year (range: 50-75%) focus on hematologic malignancies. The program is open to applicants between the latter stages of fellowship training and the very early stages of a faculty appointment. ASH encourages participation by underrepresented minority trainees and has implemented a variety of outreach and structural strategies to boost their participation in CRTI. CRTI will continue to expand the workforce of clinician scientists who are focused on hematologic malignancies, a vital input into the nation's ongoing biomedical research enterprise.
Under this grant, Training and Mentorship of Hematologic Oncologists, the American Society of Hematology (ASH) will train and mentor emerging clinician scientists focused on patient- oriented research aimed at hematological malignancies including leukemia's, lymphomas, and myeloma. Researchers trained through the ASH Clinical Research Training Institute will conduct research that improves the diagnosis and treatment of these diseases, leading to improved survival and quality of life. The program and its graduates will ensure that the advances being made in laboratories are successfully translated to clinical trials and clinical care to improve the health of patients suffering from malignant blood diseases.