This is a revised K12 application for the Paul Calabresi Career Development Award for Clinical Oncology to set up a training program for clinical translational research at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK). We propose to establish a uniquely universal training program to expand over all departments engaged in cancer research at the institution. We have designed this proposed training program to be restricted to candidates with an MD or DO degree alone. This program will provide 3 years of junior faculty funding to selected scholars. The program will solicit applications from senior fellows moving into junior faculty positions and junior faculty within the first 3 years of their appointments at MSK as well as similarly qualified candidates from other training programs through an internet-based application process. Applications for this program will be reviewed by the K12 internal advisory committee who will judge the merits of the applicants and select the 3-4 best applicants annually. Additional funding to support a program of 12 scholars annually in years 4 and 5 of the award will be provided through guaranteed matched funding support by MSK. Applications from scholars selected by the advisory committee will subsequently be evaluated by an established K12 educational committee who will design a personalized curriculum for each selected candidate. This curriculum will include a pre-established core curriculum requisite for all scholars with additional elective courses derived from available courses offered by the Louis V. Gerstner Graduate School of Biomedical Science. Significantly, over the first year of funding from this award, the K12 educational committee will establish a Master's Degree in Clinical Investigation to be awarded to all scholars who successfully complete the program. The core curriculum will include the the Cornell CTSC, curriculum, MSK cancer biology and cancer medicine courses, as well as level I mentored grant application and level II NIH R class grant application training programs. Additionally the core curriculum will include training in clinical trial development, and for 2nd and 3rd year scholars, rotational 6 month internships on relevant MSK clinical trial approval committees. The program progress will be evaluated monthly by a K12 internal advisory committee as well as an established external advisory committee who will evaluate the program every six months including an onsite visit during the planned annual K12 research symposium. Similarly, K12 scholars will be asked to review the program and their mentors every 6 months.
Recent marked advances in the understanding of cancer biology has resulted in the consequent identification of numerous exciting novel cancer therapy approaches in the preclinical setting. However, the translation of this work to the clinical settin has been markedly limited by a shortage of qualified clinical investigators who can translate state-of-the-art pre-clinical research advances into tangible improvements in health care. In this resubmission for a new K12 Paul Calabresi Career Development award we present what we believe will be a premier and highly ambitious training program at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center designed to instruct the next generation of much needed translational clinical investigators in oncology.
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