The goal of the UCLA SPORE in Brain Cancer Developmental Research Program (DRP) is to foster the exploration of innovative research ideas through the funding of pilot developmental research projects in the field of brain cancer. This program will identify new, innovative projects for funding that will constantly renew the vigor of our Brain SPORE research portfolio and add to, augment, or replace current major research projects. The DRP represents a timely mechanism to expand discovery within the SPORE. Each year, three highly innovative proposals will be selected for funding. Prospective developmental research projects will be solicited through a request for applications (RFA) sent throughout the UCLA main campus and affiliated institutions (i.e., LA BioMed/UCLA Harbor Medical Center, Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science, West Los Angeles Veterans Administration Hospital, Southern California Kaiser Permanente, and Cedars-Sinai Medical Center). We will also solicit proposals for our DRP through other institution-wide, state-wide, and region-wide channels. This will include e-mail solicitations to all faculty at UCLA and other University of California campuses (Berkeley, Davis, Irvine, Riverside, San Diego, Santa Barbara, and Santa Cruz), as well as to researchers at Caltech and USC. We will also solicit applications through the major NCI-funded Cancer Centers in Southern California (UCLA Jonsson Cancer Center, USC Norris Cancer Center, City of Hope Cancer Center, UCI Chao Family Cancer Center, UCSD Moores Cancer Center, Sanford-Burnham Research Institute, and the Salk Institute). Potential DRP investigators will be asked for a proposal, biosketch, and letters of recommendation. Three awards of $50,000 each (totaling $150,000 per year) will be made annually for the duration of the SPORE award. Funding will be made primarily for new and innovative ideas, but also to initiate intra- and inter-SPORE collaborations. Faculty at all levels will be encouraged to apply, both those beginning a research career, and established investigators who wish to re-direct their research into the field of brain cancer. This should provide a broad base of applicants and new ideas, providing funding opportunities for investigators from a variety of local and regional institutions. The DRP Selection Committee will meet and select the most meritorious translational brain cancer research applications, with input from outside ad hoc reviewers as necessary. Following scoring by the DRP Selection Committee, the Executive Committee (EC) will meet to determine the funding line. The Internal Advisory Board (IAB) and External Advisory Board (EAB) will review the funding decisions and progress of developmental projects at their regularly scheduled meetings. The DRP will receive matching funds from the Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center (JCCC) and the UCLA Department of Neurosurgery. Successful translational research projects may receive further funding in the SPORE and replace unproductive funded major projects. The anticipated outcome of the DRP is to enlarge the overall pool of brain cancer SPORE investigators at UCLA.
DRP: Developmental Research Program NARRATIVE A central mission of the UCLA SPORE in Brain Cancer, if funded, is to allocate a significant effort to support innovative pilot projects that can take maximal advantage of new research opportunities, cores, and collaborations that may result from receiving a new SPORE award. High risk/high reward developmental projects will be especially encouraged through the Developmental Research Program (DRP). Addressing the overall problem of brain cancer will require us to develop such new avenues of research with novel translational investigations.
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