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NIH Grant to Train Faculty in Clinical Cancer Research Opens Door for New Recruits

by Heather Newman

A grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for $3,041,000 has created an opportunity for training junior faculty and senior clinical fellows in clinical oncology research.

Kenneth Hande, M.D., professor of Medicine and medical oncologist in the Division of Hematology/Oncology is the principle investigator of this five year grant called the Vanderbilt Clinical Oncology Research Career Development Program (VCORCDP).

The program will train physicians for careers in academic-oriented, therapeutic research in clinical cancer cases. The VCORCDP can support three new trainees per year. Two years of training support are guaranteed, with the possibility of a third year.

Support for trainees selected by the VCORCDP Advisory Board includes up to

$75,000 in salary support, $2,000 for travel to scientific meetings, $16,000 for tuition for either Vanderbilt’s Masters of Clinical Education, or Masters of Public Health Program and material, and $12,000 for lab supplies.

Trainees will participate in a comprehensive, didactic lecture series which will focus on the important aspects of clinical research. All trainees will also participate in a mentored, patient-oriented, hypothesis-driven clinical research project which exposes them to Vanderbilt’s extensive multidisciplinary research community.

The proposed training program faculty consists of 38 mentors who are experienced clinical investigators or basic scientists with the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center.

Trainees successfully completing the two-year didactic lectures and patient-oriented research will be awarded a Master of Science in Clinical Investigation or Masters of Public Health degree from Vanderbilt.

The VCORCDP Advisory Board includes members from four oncology disciplines- adult Hematology and Oncology, General Surgery/Surgical Oncology, Pediatric Hematology and Oncology, and Radiation Oncology.

Current trainees in the program include Brain Engelhardt, M.D., assistant professor of Medicine; Alexander Parikh, M.D., assistant professor of Surgery, and Laura Williams, M.D., clinical fellow in the Division of Hematology/Oncology.

Senior Clinical Fellows or Junior Faculty Members at Vanderbilt who are interested in a career in clinical cancer research are eligible to apply for training support. Applications will be accepted in January 2007 for support of training beginning July 1, 2007. Applications must include a CV, a one-two page outline of your proposed research plan, a letter of recommendation from a proposed mentor, and a one-half to one page summary of your career goals.

For more information contact Dr. Hande at: kenneth.hande@vanderbilt.edu. Applications should be sent to Crystal Wynne at 777 Preston Research Building, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, 2220 Pierce Ave, Nashville, TN 37232-6307.