The University of Massachusetts, Boston (UMass Boston) and Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center (DF/HCC) initiated their Partnership in August 2002. The early years of the Partnership during the U56 funding period (2005-2010) established the foundational support and scientific leadership needed to build a solid and vibrant research collaboration. Moving forward, the U54 mechanism drew on this foundation resulting in a robust set of activities in research, capacity building and outreach. Two key tenets guide this sustained partnership between UMass Boston and DF/HCC: a) A common and intense interest in addressing the problem of racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic disparities in cancer incidence, morbidity, and mortality; and b) A belief that through the Partnership, each institution will achieve benefits that neither could achieve on its own. This application for renewal provides extensive evidence of the ways these tenets have been operationalized, the resulting benefits for both institutions and the ways in which this Partnership is now poised to make, at an elevated level, significant advances to the science of cancer control. We are proposing activities that draw on the latest science to understand and address cancer disparities through a transdisciplinary approach that embodies our Partnership theme of ?Cells to Society. In support of our new cohesive theme, we have proposed three sophisticated, highly competitive research projects across several areas of basic biomedical and population sciences that will employ evidence and methods to converge upon and impact cancer and cancer health disparities at multiple levels of analysis. To elucidate new areas of research opportunity, the Partnership is excited to explore the intersection between biology-based sciences and social/behavioral sciences. The immediate priorities Summary: ? of the Partnership are: 1) Continuing capacity building for biomedical and cancer research at UMass Boston and cancer disparities research at DF/HCC; 2) Enhancing and scaling up research experiences for students with a specific focus on underrepresented minorities (URMs), across the entire educational pipeline ?from undergraduate to postdoctoral levels (see Research Education Core); 3) Continuing close mentoring of early stage investigators with a focus on research and career development; 4) Building a strong and robust Outreach Core that draws on the state of the science from dissemination and implementation sciences (D&I) for building partnerships, translating knowledge and monitoring the results of the translation efforts to build and sustain capacity among community-based organizations (see Outreach Core); 5) Offering infrastructural support to U54 investigators through two service cores, including the Research Design and Analysis, and Genomics Cores (see Shared Resource Core); and 6) Ensuring sustainability for projects, Cores and research education programs via dedicated planning and execution of grant matching with NIH-mechanisms, foundation support and/or institutional support.
The University of Massachusetts, Boston (UMass Boston) and Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center (DF/HCC) Partnership is committed to further developing a shared rigorous and collaborative transdisciplinary cancer and disparities-related research program that spans the continuum of ?Cells to Society.? Sophisticated research projects are proposed across several areas of basic biomedical and population sciences that will employ evidence and methods to converge upon and impact cancer and cancer health disparities at multiple levels of analysis. These projects, together with state-of-the-art Outreach and Research Education Cores and creative Research Design and Analysis and Genomics Shared Resources, will serve to build research capacity and infrastructure at UMass Boston, expand the cancer disparities platform and community outreach programs at DF/HCC; and make, at an elevated level, significant advances to the science of cancer control.
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