Improvements in the outcome for women with breast cancer require an emerging new breed of investigator, the translational researcher. Scientists with a strong foundation in basic molecular and cellular research who also have an understanding of the clinical disease course will direct the most effective future of breast cancer research. Such investigators have been called ?translational? because of their ability to translate basic findings into clinical strategies and vice versa. This type of training requires both a well-funded core of investigators performing basic laboratory research, and an excellent clinical training program. At Baylor College of Medicine, the Breast Center affords such a combination. This is a new application for a formal Training Program that began in 1999 when what is now the Smith Breast Center was formed. All trainees work on a focused aspect of breast cancer research including 1)Hormone Action/Endocrine Therapy 2)Molecular Genomics 3)Growth Factors/Signal Transduction 4)Normal Breast Development/Breast Cancer Prevention and 5)Novel Treatment Strategies. Formal didactic courses covering Scientific writing, research grants, Biostatistics, Leadership skills, Molecular carcinogenesis, and problems in clinical translational breast cancer research are required. Progress and direction of the trainee's research project are closely monitored in bimonthly Research and Development workshops.
This application is a resubmitted proposal to support an ongoing and highly successful breast cancer translational research training program organized by the Lester and Sue Smith Breast Center at Baylor College of Medicine, and brings together an outstanding productive group of 20 faculty members, all devoted to the translational study of breast cancer biology. The Training Program lead by Dr. Suzanne Fuqua has received NCI funding in the past, however in the past two years the Program has been extensively reorganized with the inclusion of a new Co-Director, Dr. Matthew Ellis?Director of the Smith Breast Center who has extensive clinical, research, and training experience, the inclusion of new preceptors from 4 Departments at Baylor, and enhanced Career Development training for both academic and non-academic paths. Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer and the second leading cause of cancer deaths among American women, and thus has been identified as a public health priority in the United States, and is the focus of this application.