Our long term goal is to establish an NCI designated cancer center for West Virginia (WV) and the surrounding Appalachian region. West Virginia University (WVU) is the flagship university and medical center in the state with no cancer centers in WV currently having NCI designation. Our Phase I-II CoBREs for Signal Transduction and Cancer (P20) were designed to support basic research development as a .critical component of successfully competing for a Cancer Center Support Grant (CCSG) and coincident NCI designation for the WVU Mary Babb Randolph Cancer Center (MBRCC).
The specific aims of our Phase I and Phase II CoBREs evolved from an initial focus on junior investigators with a primary goal of nurturing career development and independent funding (Phase I) to a combination of continued support of junior investigators with establishment of a critical mass in targeted thematic areas during Phase II. In addition, the establishment and strengthening of essential core facilities was supported during Phases I-II and the final stage of this critical core and infrastructure support defines the focus of our Phase III (PSO) Transition Award. Established scientific thematic areas in the MBRCC include Programs focused on the Molecular Mechanisms of EMT and Metastasis, Breast Cancer, Hematopoietic Malignancies and Transplantation, and Translational Tobacco Reduction Research. These Programs provide a structured atmosphere for collaboration and mentoring for the MBRCC members and the platform in which to shape multi-investigator and programmatic grant applications. Relevant to this Transition Award application, projects throughout all of these Programs are supported by the Cores for which support is requested: Flow Cytometry, Microscope Imaging, Animal Models and Imaging, Protein, Biostatistics and Bioinformatics, and Biospecimen Processing.
The specific aims of this Phase III Transition Award include (1) support of state-of-the-art technology and expertise in sustainable core facilities that emphasize accessibility and training in which we nurture career development of investigators undertaking cancer related research and (2) enhanced collaboration in the MBRCC, WVU and the state to maximize the impact of CoBRE investment to ensure maximum access to technology required for high quality, extramurally funded research. Emphasis has been placed on strategies to support collaboration, sustainability, and an avoidance of redundant investment to yield the greatest impact of this award on continued growth of the MBRCC, in part, through availability of outstanding core facility support. Collectively, these efforts support our long-term goal of NCI designation.
WV is characterized by unique health disparities which drive the design of our scientific Programs of focus. CoBRE support has allowed training of scientists, core facility development, and programmatic growth to underpin research that directly contributes to impacting positively on the health of WV residents with diverse malignancies. These successes contribute to our capacity to gain NCI designation which will further strengthen our capacity for research, training and top notch clinical care for residents of the state.
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