University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute (UPCI)

Lung Cancer SPORE

Award Programs

Developmental Research Program

Mark A. Socinski, MD, Program Director
Joel S. Greenberger, MD, Program Director
Joel L. Weissfeld, MD, MPH, Program Director

The Developmental Research Program of the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute Lung Cancer SPORE will identify and fund innovative new pilot projects in lung cancer research. The overall goal of the Developmental Research Program is to stimulate novel research in lung cancer that will further the basic, clinical and translational research of the SPORE.

The specific goals of this Program are:

  1. to provide seed funding for initial investigation of promising novel research in lung cancer:
  2. to stimulate basic, clinical, and translational lung cancer research in areas of high priority to the Lung Cancer SPORE;
  3. to facilitate development of pilot projects into full project status in the Lung Cancer SPORE or to become competitive for independent proposals to other funding mechanisms; and
  4. to increase the visibility of Lung Cancer SPORE activities and increase participation among the institution's clinicians and researchers.

Our design for the Developmental Research Program in the renewal is similar to the successful process used during the previous grant period. Drs. William L. Bigbee and Joel S. Greenberger will provide Program leadership for basic/population and clinical research, respectively. The Developmental Research Program will utilize institutional web-based resources and electronic announcements to notify the research community at the UPCI (which includes Carnegie-Mellon University), and the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC), of the availability of research funds to support pilot projects in lung cancer.

A Developmental Research Program Steering Committee, together with ad hoc reviewers with specific expertise drawn from the UPCI and the Lung Cancer SPORE Internal and External Advisory Boards, will provide rigorous peer review of the solicited project proposals. The proposed $120,000 Program budget will include $50,000 per year in matching funds from the UPCI. Proposals will be solicited annually and grants of $35,000-$50,000 per year for 1-2 years will be awarded to the most meritorious proposals. A possible second year of funding will be granted upon evidence of research progress. Current SPORE investigators and Research Cores will work with recipients of pilot projects to maximize translational potential. The Developmental Research Program will provide seed money to fund novel ideas in lung cancer research. The program will solicit untested ideas that could improve lung cancer diagnosis or treatment, but may be difficult to fund through other mechanisms, and assist investigators to carry out new research by providing access to services of the Biostatistics/Bioinformatics Core, Clinical Core, and Tissue and Blood Bank Core.

Career Development Program

Jill M. Siegfried, PhD, Program Director
Steven D. Shapiro, MD, Program Director

The mission of the Lung Cancer SPORE Career Development Program is to stimulate basic, translational and clinical research by recruiting new investigators into the area of lung cancer. The Career Development Program within the SPORE provides financial support for this mission, while the SPORE itself provides a supportive and stimulating environment for faculty new to lung cancer research and/or new to independent research.

The Career Development Program has the following objectives:

  1. To recruit physicians, scientists, and physician-scientists to direct their research efforts to the field of lung cancer;
  2. To train and guide these investigators through the process of developing into outstanding investigators in translational areas of lung cancer research, including laboratory, clinical, and population science.

The faculty within the SPORE has a long-standing record in mentoring new independent investigators and physician-scientists for careers in translational research. The Career Development Program will support junior faculty members or more senior faculty who are new to lung cancer research. The SPORE Career Development Program will consider candidates identified through a well-defined recruitment process, and will especially seek to support women and minority candidates. Career Development Awardees will be actively mentored by established SPORE investigators and will be encouraged to take advantage of the resources available in the three SPORE Research Cores (Biostatistics/Bioinformatics, Tissue and Blood Bank Core, and Clinical Core). Career Development Awardees will provide progress reports after each year of funding to be eligible for additional support. The maximum period of support will be 2 years. Mentors will advise Awardees on research progress and on submission of independent applications for research support. The most successful awardees wil be encouraged to become Co-Leaders or Co-Investigators on future SPORE major projects.

The field of lung cancer would benefit from an increased critical mass of talented scientists and clinicians to tackle the problems of improving early diagnosis, improving treatment outcomes, and preventing lung cancer. The Career Development Program of our SPORE in Lung Cancer will strive to identify, recruit, fund, and mentor investigators who are new to the field of lung cancer who will work on these critical problems.