In an effort to promote excellent translational research in breast cancer, the Developmental Research Program is a major focus of the Breast SPORE. The support of pilot projects allows initiation of research to move solid basic science findings toward novel clinical implementation and provocative clinical observations back to the laboratory.
During the current funding cycle, the SPORE Developmental Research (Pilot Projects) Program has supported 25 investigators of which 12 are junior faculty. Seventy-two submitted applications were reviewed during the last 5 years of which 25 were funded, representing a funding rate of 35%. Four of the awardees have obtained 5 extramural peer-reviewed grants for a total combined budget of $1,320,140 (direct and indirect costs). This return in extramural grant dollars has already surpassed the investment made in the Program. There are 14 published manuscripts and 4 additional grants in the process of resubmission (3 NCI, 1 DK) after obtaining priority scores ranging from the 21st to the 48th percentile. One VA Merit Grant application from Dr. Smith scored in the 6th percentile and is expected to be funded. Data generated by Smith in this pilot project are critical preliminary data for Project 4 in this competing renewal application, where he is co-PI. Importantly, 3 of the awardees, Drs. Smith, Mayer, and Yankeelov are Project co-investigators and/or Core Directors in this application. By any metric, we believe this has been a strong and productive Program. The Table below lists the 25 investigators that received support by the Developmental Research Program with resulting grants and publications. URLs for most of these manuscripts are included in the Appendix.