The National Cancer Institute (NCI) has renewed City of Hope’s K12 grant, providing more than $3.6 million to support the training of clinical cancer researchers who strive to move advances from basic science to the bedside.
Robert Figlin, M.D., Arthur and Rosalie Kaplan Professor of Medical Oncology and chair of the Department of Medical Oncology & Therapeutics Research, is principal investigator on the grant.
|Robert Figlin is principal investigator on City of Hope’s K12 grant. (Photo by Thomas Brown)|
The five-year grant is part of an NCI program called the Paul Calabresi Career Development Award for Clinical Oncology. Only 16 of the nation’s top medical research institutions nationwide held an ongoing K12 grant program in fiscal year 2008.
“This renewal is exciting because it supports the aims and direction set forward in City of Hope’s strategic plan,” Figlin said. “It develops a new generation of clinical oncologic investigators capable of translating basic advances in cancer biology into novel strategies for the diagnosis, therapy and prevention of malignant disease. These are the physician-scientists who will lead the next wave of cancer research.”
The NCI grant supports City of Hope’s Clinical Oncology Research Career Development Program, which began in 1992. Through the program, promising young surgeons, radiation oncologists, pathologists, pediatricians and internists who have completed a fellowship in oncology receive specialized training in research techniques. They also benefit from mentoring by senior faculty members.
The program’s four years of study include protected time devoted to training in biostatistics, clinical investigation, basic science and laboratory research, including instruction in scientific writing, biomedical tools and resources and clinical pharmacology. The grant provides up to $75,000 in salary support for each researcher per year, as well as research funds.
At any one time, four early stage clinical investigators take part in the program, which awards slots through a competitive application and review process. Candidates must submit proposals backing a specific research project.
To complete the program, participants must report findings from the research in a peer-reviewed journal, create a research protocol appropriate for a clinical trial and write a grant proposal for submission to the National Institutes of Health.
Since its inception, the program has trained 10 City of Hope investigators; nine currently hold faculty positions at comprehensive cancer centers and the other directs clinical research at a pharmaceutical company. Ten open City of Hope clinical trials are led by Calabresi scholars.
Current and former Calabresi scholars at City of Hope include Mike Chen, M.D., Ph.D., Vincent Chung, M.D., Lily Lai, M.D., Jana
Portnow, M.D., and Karen Reckamp, M.D. Lucille Leong, M.D., M.S., is administrative program director.
Applications for three open positions are due Nov. 1 for review by the advisory board and funding beginning Jan. 1, 2010. To apply or learn more, contact Robert Figlin at firstname.lastname@example.org.