Simon Powell, MD, PhD (CEP Director)
The SPORE Career Enhancement Program (CEP) aims to prepare physicians and scientists for independent careers in translational research in breast cancer. Our goal is that investigators supported through this process will spend their professional lifetimes conducting translational research in breast cancer and become academic leaders in the field. Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center is ideally suited for this task, because of the scientific and clinical environment at our campus and affiliated institutions, and our long tradition of training physicians and scientists of the highest caliber.
The specific aims of the Career Enhancement Program are to support the mentoring and research of junior faculty for careers in translational research in breast cancer, using a dual clinical and laboratory/population science mentorship model, and to recruit and mentor new junior faculty members to work in breast cancer translational research. Our institutional environment includes numerous NIH training grants, including a K12 grant for translational science training, a number of T32 grants to train PhDs or MDs in translational research in Oncology, a Master’s Program in Clinical Oncology (recently developed to partner with the K12 program, but open to a broader group of translational scientists in development), a Certificate Program in Clinical Investigation integrated with the Clinical and Translational Science Program at Weill Cornell, and a well-established junior faculty mentoring program.
The SPORE Career Enhancement funds will be employed to enhance the existing formal mentoring programs, while encouraging more physician trainees to focus on translational research, in particular to leverage the emerging knowledge of DNA repair defects and specific patterns of genetic instability in breast cancers to deliver targeted treatments to individual breast cancer patients. We will strive to attract basic, translational and population scientists who are interested in devoting their careers to making discoveries that have a realistic potential to translate into clinical applications.