The development of translational researchers in thyroid cancer requires a diligent commitment to the identification of talented researchers at the junior level, and the placement pf these individuals into a supportive environment which provides not only significant expertise in thyroid cancer, but also the provision for mentorship. Another way to produce leaders in the field of thyroid cancer research is to encourage successful translational scientists to re-focus their talents from other areas into this area. The Career Development Program (CDP) of this thyroid cancer SPORE is an essential component of the application because it provides the mechanism to encourage excellent junior scientists to establish careers in this field and to attract the expertise of established researchers from other disciplines. For this thyroid cancer-focused application, the combination of resources (both patient and research resources) and guidance present at The Ohio State University (OSU) and at the MD Anderson Gancer Center (MDACC) provides an unparalleled environment to enable these new and junior investigators to succeed as independent researchers and to develop future careers which will contribute to progress in stemming the rising incidence of this malignancy and develop new therapies for those with local and distant metastatic disease. To this end, the CDP will fund promising young investigators or, in certain circumstances, more senior faculty reorienting from clinical practice or another field for 2 years at $50,000 per year. Special attention will be paid to the recruitment of applicants from diverse backgrounds. Applications will be solicited from all departments and centers at OSU and MDACC. They will be screened for eligibility by CDP Leadership to assure adequate representation from qualified women and minorities. Applications will be judged based on the potential of the candidate, the strength of the proposed research and the appropriateness of the mentor. Applications will be scored and ranked by members of the CDP Committee and final funding recommendations made to the SPORE Steering Committee. Each position will be funded for one year, with a second year dependent upon satisfactory progress. Over the course of the grant, the SPORE will provide 44.6% of the funding for the CPD, which will be matched by 38.1%, and 17.3% provided from OSUCCC and MDACC, respectively. Success of the program will be judged by the quality of the science generated by the awardees, their success in obtaining external peer-reviewed funding, their success in academic advancement, and their retention in academia and translational research in thyroid cancer.
The Career Development Program (CDP) is an important component of this thyroid cancer SPORE application and the national SPORE program because it will assure a cadre of academic faculty who are specially trained translational scientists and clinicians dedicated to discover and apply new approaches to understanding the etiology and epidemiology, prevention, diagnosis, treatment and cure of patients with thyroid cancer.
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