Specialized Program of Research Excellence (SPORE) in Head and Neck Cancer - Core A

Sponsor: University of Pittsburgh

Location(s): United States


The University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute (UPCI) Head and Neck Cancer Specialized Program of Research Excellence (SPORE) aims to improve detection and treatment of head, neck, and oral cavity cancers, and to understand the mechanisms of susceptibility to these cancers.

The SPORE includes four major translational research projects in head and neck cancer, a Developmental Research Program (DRP), and a Career Development Program (CDP). The Head and Neck Cancer SPORE uses an interdisciplinary approach to meet its objectives. Project co-investigators have expertise in basic, applied, and clinical science. The main projects include:

  • Project 1: Chemoprevention of Head and Neck Cancer
  • Project 2: Optimization of STAT3 Decoy Delivery for Head and Neck Cancer Treatment
  • Project 3: Checkpoint Receptor Targeting to Enhance Cetuximab Efficacy against HNSCC
  • Project 4: Molecular Guided Risk Stratification of Thyroid Nodules and Cancer
  • The cores provide support for the main research projects, developmental research projects, and career development investigators to facilitate head and neck cancer translational research. The two SPORE research cores are the Histology/Tissue Banking Core (Core B) and the Informatics, Biostatistics, and Bioinformatics Core (Core C). The Administrative Core (Core A) provides scientific and fiscal oversight for the program.
  • The primary objective of the Administrative Core is to provide scientific leadership and general administration for all SPORE-related activities. The Administrative Core is responsible for integrating diverse scientific and clinical disciplines into a truly unified multidisciplinary approach to achieve excellence in translational head and neck cancer research. To maintain an organizational structure that will efficiently promote such interactions and maintain a nurturing institutional environment, Core A has the following Specific Aims:

    Aim 1: Provide scientific management and oversight of all SPORE activities;

    Aim 2: Provide fiscal management and oversight of all SPORE activities;

    Aim 3: Serve as liaison between our SPORE and the NCI SPORE Program Office, National Cooperative Groups, International Cooperative Groups, industry, other translational researchers, head and neck cancer patient advocates, and the community;

    Aim 4: Organize and lead the SPORE planning process in partnership with the Internal and External Advisory Boards (IAB and EAB); and

    Aim 5: Optimize resource allocation to achieve the translational research mission of the SPORE by changing direction when necessary and discontinuing projects that successfully mature to the point of gaining independent extramural support or that do not adequately meet their translational goals, and by substituting new projects as appropriate.