Partnership Objectives and Aims

Objectives:

The overall objectives of this U54 grant are to strengthen and expand the existing partnership for cancer research between Meharry Medical College (MMC), Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center (VICC), and Tennessee State University (TSU) to achieve four ends:

  1. to increase and stabilize the competitive cancer research capability of MMC and TSU;
  2. to create stable, long-term collaborative relationships between MMC, TSU and VICC in cancer research, research education, career development and cancer outreach;
  3. to expand access to clinical trials for minority populations served by Nashville General Hospital (NGH)/MMC; and
  4. to improve the effectiveness of VICC research, career development, education and outreach activities specifically designed to benefit minority populations served by VICC.

Aims:

To accomplish the objectives, our Cancer Partnership aims to:

  1. increase the number of traditional, investigator-initiated awards on which MMC and TSU faculty serve as PIs and for which MMC and/or TSU is the applicant organization and Vanderbilt faculty collaborate;
  2. increase the number of investigator-initiated awards to VICC faculty that address cancer disparities;
  3. increase the number of peer-reviewed, joint MMC/VICC/TSU publications on which a minority-serving institution investigator is first or last author;
  4. reach the critical mass needed for a thriving program of cancer disparities research by employing new cancer investigators in fields of importance to the Partnership;
  5. expand MMC/VICC/TSU participation in national oncology trials;
  6. strengthen the physical and intellectual infrastructure for research at MMC and TSU;
  7. implement a robust outreach program that supports MMC/VICC/TSU studies of disparities by facilitating partnerships between community organizations and academic researchers, leading to hypothesis-driven research projects that include the involvement of a Community Health Educator;
  8. increase the number of MMC and TSU trainees engaged in cancer research;
  9. increase awareness of cancer research opportunities and careers for minority high school, undergraduate graduate and medical students through the development and implementation of new Pathway to Discovery Program and coursework; and
  10. increase the number of MMC/VICC/TSU faculty presenting seminars and strengthen the series to foster collaborations within the Partnerships.

The aims will be accomplished through the following:

  1. the development of three full research projects and one pilot project; and
  2. the continued growth of the five cores:
    1. Biostatistics and Bioinformatics Core
    2. Cancer Outreach Core
    3. Clinical Trials Core
    4. Translational Pathology Core
    5. Cancer Education Core