Prostate Specialized Programs of Research Excellence (SPORE)
Career Development Program
Read about the: Current Career Development Projects
The field of prostate cancer research has been greatly hindered by the paucity of new investigators entering into the field. In recognition of the need to help establish independently funded investigators in the field of translational prostate cancer research, the UMCCC Prostate SPORE has supported two to three junior faculty per year. The focus of the Career Development Program is to give investigators the ability to generate data that will become the preliminary data for prostate cancer R01 grant applications. Career Development awardees are currently funded for a maximum of two years, subject to annual review. Individual departments supply matching funds.
The Specific Aims of the Career Development Program are as follows:
Specific Aim 1: Recruit and support investigators with outstanding potential in translational prostate cancer research.
Specific Aim 2: Maintain a strong program to mentor selected investigators
Specific Aim 3: Oversee and guide translational science to produce successful translational research
Drs. Jill Macoska, Ph.D. and Kathleen Cooney, M.D. are co-directors of the program.
Dr. Macoska is a Professor of Urology and a faculty member in the Program of Cancer Biology, Cellular and Molecular Biology, and Computational Medicine and Bioinformatics. Dr. Macoska is the "basic science" resource mentor for the career development program. She has served as the Associate Editor for Basic Science for the journal Urology . Dr. Macoska has mentored many pre- and post-doctoral fellows who have gone on to successful careers in academic medicine and research.
Dr. Cooney is a medical oncologist with appointments in Internal Medicine and Urology. Dr. Cooney is the "clinical" resource mentor for the career development program. In addition to actively mentoring trainees at all levels in her own research program, she is also the Principal Investigator for the NCI-funded Oncology Training Grant. Drs. Cooney and Macoska are exceptionally well qualified to serve in these roles.
Career Development Project 1
Todd Morgan, M.D., Department of Urology
Title: Understanding the role of cancer stem cells in minimal residual disease
The goal of this project is to identify molecular characteristics of clinically significant disseminated tumor cells (DTC). We hypothesize that clinically significant DTCs in early stage prostate cancer are likely to be cancer stem-like cells (CSC).
Career Development Project 2
Scott Tomlins, M.D., Ph.D., Departments of Pathology and Urology
Title: Molecular subtyping of high risk prostate cancer
The overarching goal of this proposal is to develop robust, routinely applicable molecular subtyping assay interrogating common aberrations in prostate cancer from both DNA and RNA. Importantly, these assays will not only determine the underlying molecular subtype, but will also interrogate the major transcriptional modules present in prostate cancer, and will be informative for androgen receptor (AR) signaling status.