Developmental Research Program

The goal of the Developmental Research Program is to support innovative and scientifically meritorious research projects that can be translated into clinically important applications that improve breast cancer diagnosis and management and reduce mortality.

The program:

  • Encourages and solicits innovative translational laboratory, population and clinical study proposals.
  • Encourages and supports interdisciplinary collaboration in translational research in breast cancer.
  • Generates new hypotheses that can be tested in larger scale research projects.

This support expands the research portfolio of the SPORE.

Members of the Scientific Advisory Committee and experienced investigators offer their expertise in the application and peer review process. Criteria to select projects for funding are based on scientific merit, originality, qualifications of the applicant and translational potential. The program is committed to vigorously carrying out the policies and procedures of Mayo Clinic to identify and support qualified candidates who are women, minority individuals, veterans and people with disabilities.

Developmental research projects are expected to generate data that can serve as the basis for other SPORE-sponsored projects or support through peer-reviewed external grant support.

The three main metrics for productivity of the program are advancement of projects to a full project status in the SPORE, acquisition of extramural funding, and publications by the project awardees. The program has been highly successful in identifying a cadre of investigators that has expanded and enriched the scientific portfolio of the SPORE and provided a mechanism for development of co-leaders in full projects. The program is open to investigators at Mayo Clinic, the Masonic Cancer Center at the University of Minnesota and Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University.

Current projects

Current projects in the Developmental Research Program are:

  • CARE: Cancer Risk Perception and Women of Color. Investigator: Jessica D. Austin, Ph.D.
  • Developing Population-Specific Risk Prediction Models for Underserved Populations with Triple-Negative Breast Cancer. Investigator: German Corredor Prada of Winship Cancer Institute.
  • Adenovirus-Mediated Viroimmunotherapy for ER+ Breast Cancer. Investigators: Julia Davydova, M.D., Ph.D., and Julie Ostrander, Ph.D., both of the Masonic Cancer Center.
  • Role of Macrophages in Modulating Immunotherapy Outcomes Against Breast Cancer Metastasis to the Lymph Nodes. Investigator: Jessica N. Lancaster, Ph.D.
  • Defining the Molecular Mechanism of HSD17b4 Targeting by Endoxifen in Breast Cancer Endocrine Therapy Treatment. Investigator: Matthew J. Schellenberg, Ph.D.
  • Determine the Mechanisms of DNMT Inhibitor Effect on Anti-PD-L1 Treatment. Investigators: Liewei Wang, M.D., Ph.D., and Roberto A. Leon Ferre, M.D.