Dana Farber/Harvard Cancer Consortium Career Development Program in Clinical Oncology Project Summary/Abstract The goal of the Dana Farber/Harvard Cancer Consortium Career Development Program in Clinical Oncology (DF/HCC K12) is to prepare the next generation of clinical investigators in oncology to work at the interface of laboratory science, clinical medicine, and population science. The DF/HCC K12 was first funded in 2002 and has supported 23 Scholars, with an additional 12 Scholars who received 2 years of support through a Federal Share mechanism. The Program emphasizes research training in molecular oncology and its application to clinical medicine. The 18 K12-funded Scholars who completed participation have been exceptionally successful, with an output of 564 publications, 77 grants, and all Scholars progressing to independent faculty positions. We propose the renewal of this K12 to continue training clinicians from diverse disciplines, including adult hematology/oncology, pediatric hematology/oncology, and radiation oncology to design and conduct hypothesis-driven clinical oncology trials. To enhance our highly successful K12 program, we propose the following Specific Aims:
Aim 1 : We will recruit and select a diverse group of K12 Scholars. We will issue an annual Request for Applications (RFA) using a variety of mechanisms to reach the widest possible audience of candidates. We will aggressively promote the participation of women and other groups traditionally under-represented in medicine. Eligible candidates come from a large and highly qualified pool, including senior fellows and junior faculty within Dana Farber/Harvard Cancer Consortium (DF/HCC) institutions who have completed subspecialty clinical training. Non-clinician postdoctoral researchers are not eligible for participation. An Internal Advisory Committee (IAC), comprised of 20 DF/HCC faculty members with leadership roles and established track records in original research and mentoring, will assist Program Leadership with Scholar selection. We request a continuation of support for five Scholars per year with five year appointments.
Aim 2 : We will provide a program of rigorous didactic training, career development, and mentored clinical oncology research. Each Scholar will be guided by two Faculty Mentors, one for laboratory (or data science) training, and one for clinical investigation. A group of 34 highly qualified and motivated Faculty Mentors have been identified, but Scholars may elect to include additional mentors from the pool of >1,100 investigators within the seven DF/HCC institutions, as well as faculty from the Koch Institute at MIT and the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT. An individualized career development plan will be devised that includes components of required and optional didactic training, hands-on laboratory research, and development of a clinical trial. Scholars will share results and participate in networking activities at an annual retreat.
Aim 3 : We will monitor the performance and refine the K12 Program to optimize recruitment and training of new investigators in clinical oncology research. The IAC will review annual progress reports from Scholars and Mentors and make recommendations for changes in mentoring and/or research focus, as needed. An External Advisory Committee (EAC), comprised of five PIs from other successful K12 Programs, will evaluate Program performance, participate in the annual retreat, and provide recommendations for Program enhancements to the K12 Leadership. The Program will track Scholar productivity, including presentations, publications, grants, and clinical trial activity on an annual basis.
Dana Farber/Harvard Cancer Consortium Career Development Program in Clinical Oncology Project Narrative New insights from genome sequencing and technical advances in genome editing, chemical biology, and cellular engineering are providing unprecedented opportunities for advances in cancer treatment. The emerging complexity of cancer biology and increasing sophistication of experimental therapeutics demand a level of understanding and training in research methodology beyond the scope of conventional fellowship programs. To address these challenges, the goal of the Dana Farber/Harvard Cancer Consortium Career Development Program in Clinical Oncology (DF/HCC K12) is to recruit and select a highly qualified and diverse group of Scholars to complete a rigorous five year program of didactic instruction and mentored research that will prepare them for independent careers in clinical oncology research.
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