PRECLINICAL TRANSLATIONAL CANCER RESEARCH PROGRAM ? ABSTRACT The goal of the Preclinical Translational Cancer Research (PTCR) program at the Stephenson Cancer Center (SCC) is to promote and accelerate scientific discovery and development of ideas in order to improve the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer. PTCR members represent broad transdisciplinary expertise, from elucidating basic mechanisms of tumorigenesis to conducting preclinical translational research, creating a robust environment for the generation and translation of ideas. The program Specific Aims are: 1) to discover cellular mechanisms that regulate tumor growth, progression and response to therapy; 2) to determine the functional mechanisms underlying tumor cell-stroma interactions leading to tumor progression and metastasis; and 3) to develop novel tools and applications for nanomaterial and imaging technologies that enhance cancer detection, response prediction and treatment. Highlights of the PTCR program include: 1) highly interactive teams of basic discovery and translational scientists organized to advance specific aims; 2) a strong team of basic discovery researchers with a track record of high-impact publications and peer-reviewed funding at the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation (OMRF), the SCC's proposed consortium partner; 3) integrated and collaborative research with nanomaterials and imaging investigators at OU Norman; 4) access to SCC shared resources, which provide state-of-the-art technologies and services to support program science; 5) disease-site focused transdisciplinary research teams in colorectal and pancreatic cancers, supported by SCC developmental funds, that are developing multi- PI grant applications; and 6) a strong focus on mentoring highlighted by an NIH-funded Center of Biomedical Research Excellence P20 grant. The PTCR program has 46 members that represent 19 departments and two institutions (OU and OMRF), illustrating its transdisciplinary expertise. It is also highly collaborative: of the 15 PTCR pilot projects funded over the past two years, 10 have intra- and seven have inter-programmatic collaborations. As of December 31, 2016, program members were awarded $6,525,844 in annual NCI and other peer-reviewed cancer-related support (direct cost). NCI funding ($2,915,115) accounts for 44.7% of the peer-reviewed funding, highlighting the program's cancer focus. Total annual PTCR program funding is $9,101,794 (direct cost). For the five-year reporting period (2012-2016), PTCR program members published 446 peer-reviewed articles, of which 16.4% included intra-programmatic, 6.1% included inter-programmatic, and 69.7% included inter-institutional collaborators. For 2016, inter-programmatic publications increased to 14.9%, highlighting the growing number of collaborations underway with the Gynecologic Cancers (GC) and Cancer Prevention and Control (CPC) programs.
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