On September 17, 2014, the Cancer Community of Scholars hosted a Cancer Research Symposium for Early Career/Assistant Professors at the Wood Auditorium, UT Medical Center. Sponsored by the Community of Scholars including the University of Tennessee, Knoxville Office of Research and Engagement, the College of Veterinary Medicine, the University of Tennessee Graduate School of Medicine and the University of Tennessee Medical Center Cancer Center of Excellence, the symposium provided an opportunity for early career professors to present their work in progress and receive feedback on new ideas for future projects. It also allowed the assistant professors an opportunity to learn more about an avenue for applying for pilot project funding from a proposed American Cancer Society (ACS) Institutional Research Grant (IRG) proposal.
There were over 30 attendees including senior researchers, members of the medical community, members of the American Cancer Society and early researchers presenting their papers. The presentations were limited to ten minutes and grouped into categories of basic science, medical, clinical, imaging, social science, public policy, engineering, molecular biology, and Veterinary Medicine. Subjects included research in pHLIPs, cytokinesis, geographic disparities in access to hospice care amongst children with cancer, sensor platforms for cancer diagnosis, seperase in cell division, oxidative function in cancer colonocytes, motion correction in PET CT imaging for cancer, the relationship between obesity and breast cancer, documentation of geographic and surveillance colonoscopies amongst colorectal cancer survivors and the role of nutrition and cancer treatment and prevention.
Senior cancer researchers attended to access the clarity and feasibility of the research objectives, and provide guidance on developing a competitive proposal for the anticipated IRG pilot funds. The senior researchers have been asked to serve as mentors for the early stage investigators in cancer-related research and assist in the review of pilot projects if the University of Tennessee is awarded the ACS IRG grant.
The Cancer Community of Scholars (CCoS) is an avenue by which UT faculty who are interested in cancer research may meet. This Community of Scholars is comprised of faculty from UT’s Colleges of Arts & Sciences, Engineering, Nursing, Social Work, Communications, and Education Health & Human Sciences, Veterinary Medicine (UT Institute of Agriculture) and UT Medical Center (UT Health Science Center).
The CCoS serves as a catalyst for the application for institutional grants. Work is currently underway to apply for an NIH R25 Cancer Education Grant. This grant will offer students interested in cancer research the opportunity to get first-hand experience. Students will witness the different stages that an oncological patient travels at the UT Medical Center, as well as how cancer diagnostics and treatment is conducted.