Developmental Research Program

The Mayo Clinic Breast Cancer SPORE strives to establish innovative, high-quality projects in the Developmental Research Program, generating results that can be translated into clinical applications.

New ideas may emerge from the laboratory that need to be tested in a clinical setting. In many instances, clinical practice has findings that need to be further developed in the laboratory. The Developmental Research Program engages this cycle of interaction between research discoveries and clinical practice.

Program awards are given for innovative laboratory, population and clinical study proposals that include interdisciplinary collaboration and demonstrate the potential to generate new hypotheses that can be tested in larger scale research projects or clinical trials.

Novel research is imperative in a field where a cure is yet to be found. The availability of developmental research support provides a stimulus for creativity, a vehicle for encouraging the interaction of basic scientists and translational investigators, and an opportunity for expanding the research spectrum of the Mayo Clinic Breast Cancer SPORE.

Current projects

Current projects in the Developmental Research Program are:

  • Convolutional Neural Networks for Breast MRI. Investigator: Sadia A. Choudhery, M.D.
  • Targeting Enhancer of Zeste Homolog 2 (EZH2) to Enhance Effectiveness of PARP Inhibitors in DNA-Damage Response Deficient Breast Cancer. Investigator: Karthik V. Giridhar, M.D.
  • AZGP1: An Uncharacterized Anti-Cancer Molecule in Endocrine-Resistant Breast Cancer. Investigator: John R. Hawse IV, Ph.D.
  • Insulin Receptor Targeting in Breast Cancer. Investigator: Douglas Yee, M.D., of the University of Minnesota Masonic Cancer Center
  • Therapeutic Targeting of TGF-β/AURKA Stemness Axis in Triple Negative Breast Cancer. Investigator: Antonio (Tony) B. D'Assoro, M.D., Ph.D.
  • Role of Adrenomedullin in the Pathogenesis of HER2+ Breast Cancer. Investigator: Keith L. Knutson, Ph.D.


The director of the Developmental Research Program is: