The Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (DFCI) was designated as a comprehensive cancer center by the National Cancer Institute in 1973. Two years later, in 1975, the Institute was initially awarded an institutional National Research Service Award (T32 - CA09172). Since that time, 314 individuals have been supported by this grant (more than 75% of whom remain in academic positions) and this funding mechanism has become an essential component in the ability of the Institute to develop clinical investigators. The purpose of this proposal is to request continued support for an additional five years to provide research training for postgraduate physicians who desire a career in academic oncology. The specific purpose of this application is to offer an experience in clinical, health services, or laboratory investigation to highly selected clinicians who have completed their training in medical oncology. The availability of a wide spectrum of research environments within the DFCI offers an unusually fertile environment for the exchange of ideas and for collaboration in the design of research programs. Training will continue to be provided through regularly scheduled lectures, clinical and research conferences, and both wet bench and dry bench laboratory activities. The research facilities of the DFCI presently include seven buildings containing 1,165,000 gross square feet for investigative activities now contained within the Institute. Five separate departments including Medical and Pediatric Oncology, Cancer Biology, Cancer Immunology and AIDS, and Biostatistical Science offer a wide panoply of investigative opportunities. Trainees supported by this proposal are able to select from among all of these laboratories as the area in which they wish to conduct their research. All members of the Institute staff hold faculty appointments at Harvard University and participate in classroom presentations and laboratory and clinical research training. In addition to the training support provided by this institutional grant, DFCI investigators also participate in pre- and postdoctoral training programs at Harvard University through their departmental faculty appointments of at neighboring Harvard-affiliated hospitals. In 2000, the Institute's comprehensive cancer center status was expanded to embrace all of the biomedical facilities associated with Harvard Medical School, the Harvard University School of Public Health, and affiliated hospitals (i.e. Dana- Farber/Harvard Cancer Center [DF/HCC]); the DF/HCC core grant received an outstanding rating both at the time of its initial review in 2000 and when reviewed again in June, 2005. The goal of the program described in this proposal is to encourage the development of academic oncologists who will perform their investigative activities primarily based at the Institute as opposed to other Harvard-affiliated facilities. It is expected that at the conclusion of their training, those individuals supported by this program will have the capability for designing, initiating, and completing individual research projects, independently or with minimal supervision, and soon thereafter will be able to establish themselves as independent research investigators.

Public Health Relevance

The Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (DFCI) was designated as a comprehensive cancer center by the National Cancer Institute in 1973, charged with the mission of improving the understanding of the causes of neoplastic disease and enhancing the quality of treatment which can be offered to cancer patients. To accomplish these goals, a large number of investigative laboratories encompassing the entire spectrum of tumor biology and health services research has been established alongside an active clinical oncology program, closely linked with the adjacent facilities of the Harvard Medical School and surrounding affiliated hospitals. The interaction between laboratory-based scientists and clinical investigators has created a uniquely productive environment leading to major advances in fundamental science and the application of these efforts to patient care.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Institutional National Research Service Award (T32)
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Study Section
Subcommittee I - Transistion to Independence (NCI)
Program Officer
Perkins, Susan N
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Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
United States
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