Dramatic advances made in recent years towards precision medicine initiatives, biomarker and novel target identification, and high-throughput examination of genomic data, have resulted in a trove of valuable data that can inform the development of new therapeutics to combat cancer. However, to effectively harness this wealth of information and advance the discovery and development of new therapies for cancer patients, enhanced collaboration between academia and industry will be needed.
The AACR-AstraZeneca Stimulating Therapeutic Advances through Research Training (START) Grants represent an exciting new initiative to encourage and support such collaboration. This novel model, which will provide support to postdoctoral or clinical research fellows, combines research experiences in both an academic and industry setting, following a research timeline that will be of greatest benefit to the proposed work. The training provided through this grant program will be invaluable to young investigators, by allowing fellows to attain a comprehensive research experience that will make them highly desirable to potential employers in either academic research or the pharmaceutical industry. Likewise, academic research centers and industry will benefit from the introduction of such dual-trained individuals into the field.
Each fellowship provides a three-year grant of $225,000 to support the salary and benefits of the fellow while working on a mentored cancer research project. Applicants must plan to spend one year on site at an AstraZeneca facility. One of a number of AstraZeneca’s locations are possible, at the discretion of AstraZeneca. The year at AstraZeneca will be determined on a case-by-case basis, and will be at a time agreed upon by the fellow, the academic supervisor, the AstraZeneca mentor, and AstraZeneca. The research proposed for funding must have direct applicability to cancer with a specific focus on DNA Damage Response (DDR) pathways or epigenetics and may be basic, translational, or clinical in nature.
Any proposals that address topics unrelated to DNA Damage Response pathways or epigenetics in cancer will NOT be accepted.