Molecular Medicine (MM) has experienced significant improvements in key metrics since the last funding period. Strategic recruitment has contributed to the continued growth of the program with a mix of members including Basic, Clinical, and Physician Scientists. Members are balanced in academic rank and include Assistant, Associate, and Senior Members, spanning 16 clinical and research academic departments. Together with Program activities, member selection provides the foundation and expertise for MM to advance novel and impactful scientific discoveries and clinical research. Targeted recruitment helps identify faculty studying cancers that are catchment area priorities, including melanoma, lung and Head and Neck cancers. Specifically, the MM Program Members seek to: (a) identify key effectors of altered regulatory circuits that underpin cancer progression, metastasis, and therapy resistance, (b) validate these effectors as anti-cancer targets to instruct the development of new molecular probes to facilitate the mechanistic underpinning of oncogenic signaling networks, (c) optimize drug-like properties of targeted agents for testing in the clinic, (d) refine prognostic and predictive markers for improved patient selection, and (e) conduct clinical trials to validate drug mechanisms of action.
Basic and physician scientists are charged with driving grant funding with clinical scientists leading the trials. Program members have published a >1300 manuscripts in the past 5 years, including publications in top-tier journals such as New England Journal of Medicine and Lancet Oncology. The average Impact Factor (IF) increased from 2016 to 2020. Notably, the majority of publications involve intra/inter-programmatic collaborations, reflecting the multidisciplinary approach of the program. Importantly, these efforts led to ~27 R01 or R01 equivalent awards to MM members in the past year. Moreover, translational research efforts contributed numerous patients accrued across investigator-initiated trials (IITs), cooperative group trials and pharmaceutical sponsored trials.