The Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Comprehensive Cancer Center has been awarded a prestigious grant to train the next generation of cancer drug discovery and development researchers. The grant, known as a T32 grant, is a five-year, $794,000 award from the National Cancer Institute. It will establish the Pediatric and Adult Translational Cancer Drug Discovery and Development Training Program (PACT-D3), which aims to support graduate fellows in their pursuit of careers in cancer drug discovery and development.
Under the PACT-D3 program, three graduate fellows will be chosen annually to receive mentorship from cancer center researchers who specialize in drug discovery and development. The program will also provide opportunities for fellows to explore potential career paths in academic institutions, biotech companies, and pharmaceutical companies. Fellows will be paired with investigators who focus on pediatric cancers, adult cancers, or overlapping areas of research.
According to George S. Kelley, Ph.D., co-principal investigator on the grant, the PACT-D3 program will give students a comprehensive understanding of the drug discovery process, from the laboratory to commercialization. Kelley emphasized the importance of equipping students with the necessary knowledge and skills to navigate partnerships with biotech and industry. He explained that the low success rate of bringing new cancer drugs to market necessitates a well-trained and prepared workforce.
As part of the PACT-D3 program, fellows will also have access to learning opportunities through the Cancer Drug Discovery and Development Accelerator (CD3A), an initiative launched by the cancer center in 2019. CD3A aims to accelerate the translation of research into clinical applications and promotes collaborations among university researchers, pharmaceutical industry experts, and external research organizations.
The PACT-D3 program is open to Indiana University School of Medicine PhD students or MD/PhD students. The first fellows will be selected in the coming fall semester. This program is part of the cancer center’s broader commitment to providing robust education and training opportunities for aspiring cancer researchers.
This grant and the establishment of the PACT-D3 program solidify the Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Comprehensive Cancer Center’s position as a leader in cancer research and innovation. By investing in the training and development of the next generation of cancer drug discovery researchers, the center aims to make significant contributions to the field and ultimately improve patient outcomes.
1. Source: Coherent Market Insights, Public sources, Desk research
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