The overall goal of the dual-track University of Chicago Paul Calabresi Career Development Award for Clinical Oncology is to increase the number of highly skilled clinicians (M.D.s, D.O,s, Pharm.D., nurses with PhD or equivalent) and non-clinician postdoctoral researchers who are capable of designing and testing innovative hypothesis-driven clinical therapeutic research protocols in clinical trial settings (pilot/Phase I, Phase II and Phase III trials). To do this, we have created a tightly structured and mentored education program within an academically rigorous training environment that prepares the most compelling senior fellows or junior faculty in clinical oncology for careers in patient oriented research. The program is anchored within our Comprehensive Cancer Center and led by Olufunmilayo Olopade, MD along with Walter Stadler, MD with strong support from an Executive Committee as well as Internal and External Advisory Committees. The 78 research training faculty preceptors have NIH or equivalent peer- reviewed funding, interact on a number of collaborative research and training efforts and are well qualified to serve as potential mentors for the five trainees per year participating in this K12 program. Each trainee is appointed for a minimum of two years. In this renewal application, we shall continue successful elements of the program in clinical pharmacology, genomics and immunotherapy while enhancing training opportunities in emerging fields of clinical informatics, data science and microbiome research. The Paul Calabresi K12 Scholars Program is our highly mentored, didactic coursework-intensive program, and ?hands on? clinical research training which results in a Master of Science in Clinical Investigation. Leveraging clinical research infrastructure across University of Chicago Medicine, we have also created a flexible set of integrated interdisciplinary courses in translational science that blends entrepreneurships, cancer genomics, immunology, pharmacogenomics and community based clinical trials network. Of the 18 trainees who have completed the program since 2010, 13 (72%) are currently in academic careers, of whom 7 (54%) hold appointments at the Associate Professor level. Moreover, these 18 trainees have published a total of 176 oncology research papers, and are Principal Investigators or Co-Investigators on 56 oncology research grant awards. Of significance, 7 of 14 (50%) appointments to the program in the last funding cycle were women or members of underserved minority groups. An explicit goal of this Paul Calabresi Scholars program, as with all training programs in our institution, is that its training opportunities and benefits will extend far beyond the relatively few scholars whose stipends it will provide. The program has had a transformative and global impact and is reaching into the larger oncology trainee community in Chicago and to trainees in other countries who come to our Institution as Global Oncology Scholars. Thus, the benefit that accrues from the program's implementation and productivity is substantial and will increase the number of highly skilled clinicians and non-clinicians conducting cancer clinical trials.

Public Health Relevance

The overall goal of the University of Chicago K12 program in Oncology is to provide a distinct pathway of training, producing the next generation of highly skilled academic Oncologists who are capable of designing and administering hypothesis-driven pilot/Phase I, Phase II and Phase III cancer therapeutic trials on a global scale. Leveraging resources across the University, the Paul Calabresi K12 Scholars Program is our highly mentored, didactic coursework-intensive program, and ?hands on? clinical research training which results in a Master of Science in Clinical Investigation. The strength of our clinical programs coupled with our research intensity and our focus on genetics/genomics and experimental therapeutics makes the University of Chicago an ideal institution for the preparation of a clinical oncology workforce for the era of precision medicine in Oncology.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Physician Scientist Award (Program) (PSA) (K12)
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Subcommittee I - Transistion to Independence (NCI)
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Damico, Mark W
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University of Chicago
Internal Medicine/Medicine
Schools of Medicine
United States
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