Specialized Programs of Research Excellence (SPORE) Grants

The National Cancer Institute (NCI) established the Specialized Programs of Research Excellence (SPORE) in 1992 to promote interdisciplinary research and to help basic research findings move quickly from the laboratory to the patient. To earn a highly competitive NCI SPORE grant, institutions must demonstrate a high degree of collaboration between first-rate scientists and clinicians and show excellence in translational research projects.

The Mayo Clinic Cancer Center has four NCI SPORE grants and one SPORE grant that is shared with another institution, supporting research in:

The Mayo Clinic Cancer Center's SPOREs are structurally based on the close interaction and collaboration of clinical department members who work with patients in each of the disease areas, as well as researchers and physicians who specialize in biochemistry and molecular biology, immunology, pharmacology, laboratory medicine and pathology, and health sciences research.

The objective of the Cancer Center SPOREs is to enhance understanding of the biology of the specific cancers each program addresses and to translate this information into clinical application. This objective is accomplished by coordinating interdependent, cooperative research projects within the SPOREs. The Cancer Center SPOREs also offer unique opportunities for career development for young researchers, with a special program for researchers to explore innovative ideas that have untapped potential.

Mayo Clinic offers unique opportunities for collaboration and resources for the study of all cancers. This includes a large clinical population and a multidisciplinary base of basic scientists, specialty surgeons, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, pathologists, diagnostic radiologists, medical geneticists and epidemiologists who are truly interested in and devoted to the study of cancer. The wide range of interests in specialties allows significant research on most cancer disease types by focused groups, with the opportunity to collaborate across groups.