New Professorship Focuses on Teaching Drug Development to Young Oncology Researchers
Despite a number of new drug approvals in 2011, there are still major challenges in developing effective oncology therapeutics and drug combinations that demonstrate signifi cant survival advantages. Mechanisms are needed to ensure that the next generation of oncology researchers has the necessary skills and training to lead oncology drug development.
With this in mind, the Conquer Cancer Foundation of the American Society of Clinical Oncology launched a new research grant opportunity in 2012 to extend its line of distinguished professorships. The Drug Development Research Professorship (DDRP) is designed to support outstanding researchers who are dedicated to bringing advances into the clinical arena. These researchers are exploring new and promising therapeutic compounds that will lead to improved treatments and they are committed to mentoring young researchers in the scientific and regulatory aspects of drug development. The 2012 DDRP is supported by Sanofi Oncology.
“The primary focus of the DDRP is on mentorship,” said Chair of the DDRP Review Subcommittee Richard L. Schilsky, MD. “This grant is for professors who demonstrate a commitment to mentoring future researchers in the areas of drug development, clinical trial design, and regulatory science. The intention of the program is to ensure that the next generation is well trained in all aspects of drug development.”
In the spirit of the award, the 2012 DDRP recipient has decentralized his administrative responsibilities to dedicate more time to research and mentoring. The fi rst DDRP recipient, Alex A. Adjei, MD, PhD, of Roswell Park Cancer Institute, is senior vice president of clinical research, chairman of the Department of Medicine, and a professor of oncology at Roswell Park Cancer Institute. His career has focused on preclinical and clinical experimental therapeutics and on evaluating mechanisms of drug activity and synergistic drug combinations in the laboratory, while performing phase I clinical trials in the clinic.
Currently, Dr. Adjei mentors a phase I clinical trials group at Roswell Park, which includes four junior faculty members. He is also mentoring a fellow from the new Drug Development Fellowship Program at Roswell Park, and the DDRP will allow him to mentor more drug development fellows as the program expands.
“I’m honored to join the elite group who has received professorships from the Conquer Cancer Foundation,” said Dr. Adjei. “This grant will greatly benefit our trainees and allow me to spend more of my time mentoring the research team.” Although this is the fi rst professorship ever to focus on drug development, Dr. Adjei joins five previous recipients of Conquer Cancer Foundation professorships who have also focused on training the next generation of researchers.
Conquer Cancer Foundation of ASCO Research Professors
Translational Research Professors
Bruce E. Johnson, MD (2008)
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Impact of Genomic Changes on the Treatment of Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer
Everett E. Vokes, MD (2008)
The University of Chicago
Concomitant Chemoradiotherapy and Translational Gene Therapy Trials for Intermediate-Stage Malignancies of the Lung and Head and Neck
Merrill J. Egorin, MD (2009), 1948-2010
University of Pittsburgh
Preclinical and Clinical Studies of PARP Inhibitors as Cancer Therapy
Mark J. Ratain, MD (2011)
The University of Chicago
Building a Genomic Prescribing System
Comparative Effectiveness Research Professor
Patricia A. Ganz, MD (2010)
University of California, Los Angeles
Improving Outcomes for Breast Cancer Survivors: Measuring the Comparative Effectiveness of Survivorship Care Programs within the UCLA-LIVESTRONG Survivorship Center of Excellence