This is the competitive renewal of the Paul Calabresi Career Development Award for Clinical Oncology (K12 Program), which is in its 20th year at the City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center. The K12 Program provides structured multidisciplinary training and mentoring to junior faculty to ensure their success as clinician-researchers capable of translating advances in molecular oncology from the bench to the bedside and back. Eligible candidates are selected from a variety of specialties in oncology provided that they are within five years of completion of their training. The Principal Investigator/Program Director and Curriculum Director are assisted by an Advisory Committee consisting of six faculty members and one external advisor. This leadership team selects the scholars, oversees their academic progress, and provides input on the curriculum. The four-year K12 Program begins with the year-long Clinical Investigator Training Program, which provides a structured background of lectures in topics such as study design, statistics, good clinical practice, grant writing, and newer laboratory techniques. Each scholar also identifies a clinical and laboratory mentor for a translational research project. The scholars meet quarterly with the Program Director, Curriculum Director, and Advisory Committee and formally present their research progress. Following the scholars' presentations, this group of committed faculty provides critiques and input on the scholars' progress. The Program Director meets individually with the scholars on a quarterly basis to review the critiques of the Advisory Committee and to provide scholars with the opportunity to report any problems or barriers that they perceive to their career development. The K12 Program continues to evolve with the addition of new mentors and enhancements to the curriculum. Participation in the Program is considered prestigious by both the scholars and their mentors. The value of the Program is evident in the success of the scholars. Within the past five years, five scholars have graduated; all have been promoted or are in the process of being promoted to Associate Professor; all have successfully secured research funding as Principle Investigators or Co-Principle Investigators from a variety of sources including: the National Institutes of Health, the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, and multiple private foundations; and all are established as independent translational researchers, the goal of the K12 Program.
Dr. Joanne Mortimer is the Principal Investigator for the K12 Program at City of Hope that provides junior clinical oncologists with a didactic curriculum and protected time for mentored translational research. Each scholar is mentored by a clinician-scientist and a laboratory researcher. The goal of the K12 Program is to provide a structured multidisciplinary approach to training clinical oncologic investigators capable of translating advances in molecular oncology to the bedside and back.
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