The goal of the Career Enhancement Program (CEP) is to develop highly trained, exceptional young investigators dedicated to translational research in the early detection, prevention, and treatment of pancreatic cancer (PDAC) and colorectal cancer (CRC). Ideally, these investigators will ultimately help to reduce the morbidity and mortality from these diseases. The CEP will extend be available across both participating institutions ?MD Anderson and Johns Hopkins University, broadening the scope of expertise and mentorship opportunities available to early career investigators. Underscoring the shared nature of our program, the CEP will be led by Drs. Elizabeth Jaffee at Johns Hopkins and Dr, Scott Kopetz at MD Anderson, respectively. The CEP will A) recruit and train physicians and basic scientists to enable them to become highly skilled translational investigators in the field of PDAC or CRC B) provide specific knowledge of research in PDAC or CRC that will enhance the ability of awardees to conduct innovative translational science that will directly impact on the understanding and treatment of these diseases; and 3) re-direct individuals who have already shown considerable scientific promise into PDAC or CRC research. To achieve this goal, the SPORE CEP will provide up to five awards of $50,000 each annually for one year, with a competitive option for renewal for an additional year, funded from the SPORE and matching funds from MD Anderson and Johns Hopkins. We will aggressively recruit the most promising young investigators and institute an individualized development plan with clinical and laboratory mentors and a mentoring committee that will provide coaching in grant and manuscript writing, leadership training, networking with PDAC and CRC scholars (including key opinion leaders in concurrently funded SPORE programs around the country), and completing and publishing translational PDAC or CRC related manuscripts in high impact peer reviewed journals. The GI SPORE will utilize multiple programs inside and outside of the Institute to identify outstanding young investigators with an emphasis placed on recruiting qualified women and members of traditionally underrepresented groups. The CEP will also encourage and support awardee presentations at national or international meetings. The ultimate deliverable of our CEP is to train and cultivate the highest caliber of next generation translational research scientists in GI cancers.

Public Health Relevance

CAREER ENHANCEMENT PROGRAM: Narrative The Career Enhancement Program (CEP) in the MD Anderson Gastrointestinal Cancer SPORE is designed to develop and successfully train academic physician-scientists and basic scientists with an interest in translational research in the areas of diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of pancreatic cancer (PDAC) and colorectal cancer (CRC). The CEP will recruit with emphasis on minorities and women to provide up to 2 years of research funding to Awardees and pair them with a clinical and/or laboratory mentor and an individualized career development plan that will include coaching in grant and manuscript writing, leadership training, attendance at national meetings, and completion and publication of a translational research project. Currently, there are no training programs at MD Anderson focused on translational PDAC or CRC research which underscores the importance of programs such as the CEP; and of special note, the CEP will also incorporate available mentorship and training opportunities at Johns Hopkins University, our subcontract site for this SPORE, broadening the scope of its reach beyond MD Anderson.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Specialized Center (P50)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZCA1)
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University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
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