Director's message: Expanding our translational research portfolio

Volume 8, Issue 1, March 2019


The center's new SPORE grant in hepatobiliary cancer reflects Mayo Clinic's research excellence.

Robert B. Diasio, M.D.

Robert B. Diasio, M.D.

This issue of Forefront includes an article about a new Specialized Program of Research Excellence (SPORE) grant in liver cancer and bile duct cancer that the Mayo Clinic Cancer Center has received from the National Cancer Institute (NCI).

People outside of cancer research often ask me, "What is a SPORE grant?" While the SPORE acronym may conjure up images of a 1950s science fiction movie, the reality is that SPORE grants are an exciting research funding mechanism started by the NCI in 1992.

The NCI's goal in starting the program was to focus research funding on cancers related to specific organs, such as breast cancer and lung cancer, and on groups of highly related cancers, such as gastrointestinal cancers, to more rapidly translate basic science findings into clinical advancements for patients.

I'm proud that the Mayo Clinic Cancer Center is now home to six NCI SPORE grants: breast cancer, lymphoma (shared with the University of Iowa), multiple myeloma, ovarian cancer, pancreatic cancer, and now liver and bile duct cancer (hepatobiliary cancer).

We are honored that the NCI has recognized the quality of translational research at the Mayo Clinic Cancer Center, and we look forward to turning this research into successful treatments for patients everywhere.

  • Robert B. Diasio, M.D.
  • Director, Mayo Clinic Cancer Center
  • William J. and Charles H. Mayo Professor