Developmental Research Program
- Director: Robert. J. Coffey, MD
- Co-Director: Lawrence J. Marnett, Ph.D.
- Co-Director: Jennifer A. Pietenpol, Ph.D.
The Developmental Research Program has been a major vehicle by which Vanderbilt’s GI SPORE has promoted translational gastrointestinal cancer research. To date $953,009 has been allocated to support 32 Pilot Projects. We have been able to sustain this Program through the generous institutional support despite reductions in the overall GI SPORE budget. A special effort has been made to attract young investigators into the field of gastrointestinal cancer research (Drs. Dixon, Dhawan, Fingleton, Franklin, Li, Kenworthy and Kaverina). In the case of Drs. Dixon, Dhawan, Fingleton and Kenworthy, the Developmental Research Program was instrumental in helping to secure their first independent peer review grant support. The GI SPORE has supported research in gastrointestinal neoplasia outside of CRC (colorectal cancer) with special emphasis on gastroesophageal cancer (Drs. Goldenring, Peek, Polk, El-Rifai and Schneider). This support has contributed significantly to Dr. Peek’s R01 application studying the link between inflammation and the development of gastric cancer. Efforts have been made to further strengthen existing programs and to bring together basic scientists and physician investigators.