K12 Program Requirements

Professional Effort

K12 Calabresi Scholars are expected to devote 75% of their full-time effort, for two years, to the training and clinical oncology research activities of the program. Scholars’ remaining effort may be devoted to other clinical or academic pursuits consistent with the award. However, salary supplementation may not be from federal funds unless specifically authorized by the federal program from which such funds are derived. M.D. Scholars are encouraged to wait three months before beginning their clinical practice if joining MUSC in conjunction with the K12 Program.

Mentorship

Developing a successful cancer research career requires strong relationships with mentors and a research team. Scholars will select three Program Mentors: one primary mentor and two secondary mentors. Each mentoring team must include a practicing medical oncologist.

Program Milestones

Within each Scholar’s career development plan, he/she will be expected to complete three different but related milestones. Each M.D. Scholar will design and initiate a clinical cancer therapy trial to answer a biological hypothesis-based clinical research question. As a second milestone, at least two publishable research reports should result from the Scholar’s studies. Finally, the Scholars will be expected to create a fully developed grant application and submit it to a funding agency (e.g., NIH, DOD, ACS).

Didactic Coursework & Research Seminars

This K12 Program includes a comprehensive didactic program in translational research methods including the following required courses:

  • Principals of Cancer Biology (M.D. Scholars)
  • Introduction to Multidisciplinary Clinical Oncology (Ph.D. Scholars)
  • Methods in Clinical Cancer Research
  • Methods and Outcomes in Cancer Population Sciences
  • Principles of Targeted Cancer Drug Discovery and Developmental/Translational Cancer “omics”
  • Cancer Immunotherapy: Lessons Learned and the Path Forward

Full Course Descriptions

In-Depth Clinical & Laboratory Training

Beginning the first year of the Scholar’s training program, he/she will immerse in a longitudinal clinical and laboratory experience that will last for the remainder of the time the Scholar is in the program. These experiences will form the foundation to complete the required milestones. Since the focus of the program is primarily on the development of a patient-oriented researcher, it is not expected that the M.D. Scholars will become basic science researchers, but rather will learn to use assays, new technologies, and analyses that will enable the evaluation of pertinent clinical research questions in the laboratory. The Scholars will be expected to be familiar with the conduct, quality control, and interpretation of assays pertinent to their clinical research protocol.

Likewise, Ph.D. Scholars are expected to draw upon their clinical observations to formulate more informed correlative study designs. The proportions of laboratory and clinical involvement may differ between these two classes of Scholars, but all will participate in both activities during the longitudinal training period.

National Meeting

K12 Scholars will be required to attend a national professional meeting each year.