SU2C and The V Foundation Call for Investigators to Apply to Convergence Research Teams Ideas Lab
New York, November 10, 2014 – Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C) and The V Foundation announced today their invitation for applications from junior and senior investigators with a demonstrated background in biological research to participate in an Ideas Lab to be held February 13 – 18, 2015. The Ideas Lab involves intensive meetings and discussions to develop research proposals employing novel quantitative approaches to the study of preclinical and clinical cancer data. Ideas Lab participants will develop research project proposals, integrating mathematical and computational approaches, and clinical cancer research that have the potential to lead to near term patient benefit.
Through collaboration of research scholars in distinct disciplines, this Ideas Lab and subsequent grants offer a novel model of “convergence” research meant to spur innovation in new ways of combating cancer. By taking advantage of advances in information technology, nanotechnology, new material research, imaging, optics, quantum physics, and other physical sciences, often considered outside the realm of traditional biomedical research, the subsequent convergence grants may provide critical outcomes to advance the fight against cancer.
“We see convergence as a blueprint for innovation, involving the coming together of different fields of study—particularly engineering, physical sciences, and cancer research,’’ said Nobel Laureate Phillip A. Sharp, Ph.D., Institute Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and David H. Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at MIT, and chair of the SU2C Scientific Advisory Committee, who wrote a white paper on the subject. “Through collaboration among research groups and the integration of approaches that were originally viewed as distinct and potentially contradictory, convergence enables the innovation necessary to address the epidemic of cancer, one of the most urgent health care challenges of the 21st century.”
SU2C and The V Foundation have invited applications from junior and senior investigators who seek to assemble a trans-disciplinary team of investigators to work together to develop research project proposals in the Ideas Lab. Proposals will be expected to address a mechanistic understanding of cancer progression and/or treatment through the applications of dynamical physics and/or engineering principles in the analysis of preclinical to clinical oncology data. Projects are expected to have the potential to rapidly advance the integration of these fields.
“It’s clear that as technology continues to advance, the way we study this disease will continue to change, and we’re excited to be working with The V Foundation and National Science Foundation to create opportunities for scientists in such different disciplines to collaborate on truly innovative projects, all with the goal of helping patients,” said Lisa Paulsen, a co-founder of Stand Up To Cancer and president & CEO of the Entertainment Industry Foundation.
”Convergence grants will bring together great minds to view problems posed by cancer and approach solutions in a novel way,” said Susan Braun, CEO of The V Foundation for Cancer Research. “The Ideas Lab condenses the process while providing an optimal setting for innovative thought.”
During the Ideas Lab, participants will be immersed in an intensive, interactive and free-thinking workshop environment where they will participate in mentored, collaborative dialogs to construct and vet bold and innovative approaches to questions in cancer biology and clinical oncology. The process will culminate with the development of trans-disciplinary collaborative concepts by teams of participants, with the expectation that the majority of these concepts will lead to high-risk/high impact studies.
In the resultant proposals, clinical oncologists and cancer biologists are encouraged to describe data sets that might be analyzed and form the basis for proposals. Applicants from the fields of physics, mathematics, computer science, and engineering are encouraged to describe innovative approaches including, but not limited to, integration of data sets with advanced physics and engineering principles to generate dynamical models and simulations that predict individual disease course and outcome; robust experimental model systems; and advanced tools.
Applicants are required to submit their Letters of Intent by 12:00 Noon ET on Wednesday December 10, 2014. A review committee will select individuals invited to participate in the Ideas Lab. The review committee may select three or more Convergence Research Team Grants from among the proposals developed during the Ideas Lab. Each Convergence Research Team may be awarded up to $4 million over the 4-year term of the grant. These grants will include support for post-doctoral researchers in what can serves as a model for the mentoring and training of the next generation of trans-disciplinary cancer researchers.
“We expect that the proposals generated will have an important impact on the direction of future cancer research and clinical care,” said Sung Poblete, Ph.D., R.N., president & CEO of Stand Up To Cancer. “Post-doctoral researchers from quantitative backgrounds will participate in the research projects developed, in what will become a model for the mentoring and training of the next generation of quantitative cancer researchers.”
The V Foundation for Cancer Research and SU2C announced their intention to collaborate on grants for research scholars in July 2014 at ESPN’s annual ESPY Awards.
For more information on the collaboration and how to apply, visit http://www.su2c.org/convergence.
About Stand Up To Cancer
Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C) raises funds to accelerate the pace of research to get new therapies to patients quickly and save lives now. SU2C, a program of the Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF), a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, was established in 2008 by film and media leaders who utilize the industry’s resources to engage the public in supporting a new, collaborative model of cancer research, and to increase awareness about cancer prevention as well as progress being made in the fight against the disease. For more information on Stand Up To Cancer, visit http://www.standup2cancer.org
About The V Foundation for Cancer Research
The V Foundation for Cancer Research was founded in 1993 by ESPN and the late Jim Valvano, legendary North Carolina State basketball coach and ESPN commentator. Since 1993, The Foundation has funded more than $130 million in cancer research grants nationwide. It awards 100 percent of all direct cash donations to cancer research and related programs. Due to generous donors, the Foundation has an endowment that covers administrative expenses. The Foundation awards peer-reviewed grants through a competitive awards process vetted by a Scientific Advisory Committee. For more information on The V Foundation or to make a donation, please visit http://www.jimmyv.org.