The overarching goal of the UC Davis Paul Calabresi K12 Clinical Oncology Research Career Development Program (CDP; PI, Primo Lara, Jr. MD) is to nurture clinician or basic-translational junior faculty to become independent, patient-oriented cancer researchers who are highly trained in translational, team-driven research. Using 1) core competencies, 2) advanced oncology coursework, 3) career development, 4) mentored research, and 5) cross-cultural exposure, the CDP provides two new scholars per year (six at any one time) with training aimed at honing ideas and skills that go far beyond their initial disciplinary boundaries. Scholars will overcome language and cultural barriers that typically exist between clinical and basic-translational researchers, take advantage of the collaborative research environment at UC Davis, participate in multidisciplinary and translational forums, and gather essential skills in research design, clinical trial development, team science, grant writing ethical conduct of research, communication, and career development. The vision is to enhance translational research by training clinician researchers to incorporate and utilize basic/correlatie science in their pursuit of clinical trials (Clinical Track), and conversely, driving basic scienists towards patient-driven drug development and clinical research (Basic/Translational Track). To maintain the emphasis on patient- driven clinical research, all CDP scholars, under the mentorship of both a clinical mentor and basic/translational mentor, will be required to develop and initiate/conduct their own investigator-initiated clinical trial during the training period. Th program will leverage the outstanding research, training, and evaluation expertise and infrastructure of the NCI-designated UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center, NCATS-funded Clinical and Translational Research Center (CTSC), and School of Medicine Career Development Program. It will be overseen and enhanced by a highly organized internal Oversight Committee and external Advisory Board. Overall, the CDP seeks to accomplish the following specific aims: 1) Offer a competency-based didactic curriculum to promote team science, encourage translational research, and hone essential skills for clinical trial development and career/research success; 2) Oversee individualized patient- oriented research projects customized to the interests and needs of each scholar; and 3) Provide oversight of scholar training to ensure the progressive development of a cadre of fully competent interdisciplinary-oriented researchers who can successfully conduct translational cancer clinical trials with investigational new agents or devices.
These specific aims will enable the building of a critical mass of trained researchers at UC Davis at the forefront of innovative, impactful, evidence-based research, who can oversee research that encompasses the entire continuum of research from basic science (target identification and drug discovery) through translational science (drug development and correlative science) to clinical investigation. By doing so, we offer the potential of both enhancing the success of clinician scientists and improving outcomes for cancer patients.

Public Health Relevance

The UC Davis Paul Calabresi K12 Clinical Oncology Research Career Development Program (CDP; PI, Primo Lara, Jr. MD) aims to nurture junior faculty to become team-driven researchers who are able to conduct patient-oriented cancer research that is enhanced by basic/translational (laboratory) science. This caliber of research - which, for example, identifies biomarkers or optimizes how drugs work - is at the forefront of cancer clinical research and has the highest potential to improve outcomes for patients with cancer. Through this program, exceptional clinical and basic/translational scientists will hone their skills to become leaders in translational, multi-disciplinary research.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Physician Scientist Award (Program) (PSA) (K12)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZCA1-RPRB-M (J2))
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Damico, Mark W
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University of California Davis
Internal Medicine/Medicine
Schools of Medicine
United States
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