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Developmental Research Program

The Program

Purpose: To provide seed money to investigators to support studies with a strong translational component that have the potential to evolve into, or be incorporated into, a full Yale SPORE in Lung Cancer project. Projects of more limited scope (e.g., for smaller amounts and/or for shorter periods of time) will be at no competitive disadvantage in the review process. Projects with multi-disciplinary collaborations and promising translational research potential will get favorable scores in review. The purpose is also to generate preliminary data or evidence of collaboration for new NCI grant applications.

Award Amounts: Up to $50,000 for one year commencing August 1, 2021.

Eligibility: Open to investigators who hold a faculty appointment at an academic institution who can be described by one of the following categories:

a) established investigators in lung cancer who wish to test an innovative, translationally-relevant idea not funded by current or pending grants/funds;

b) junior investigators holding a faculty appointment proposing innovative research in the arena of translational thoracic oncology that require preliminary data to apply for an R01 or equivalent research support;

c) independent investigators with a previous and/or current R01 or equivalent funding whose research to date has not been specifically directed at lung cancer, or even at cancer more generally, but who are interested in exploring the applicability of their particular expertise to lung cancer.

Women and minority investigators are strongly encouraged to apply.

Requirements: If a grant is awarded, the PI and mentors must agree to abide by the Grant Guidelines (page 4) and to participate in the DRP/CEP Symposium to be held at Yale on Thursday, April 14, 2022 (tentative date).

Application Timeline: LOIs are due no later than 11:59 PM on April 23, 2021

LOIs and full applications should be submitted at

Download applications here>>

Previous Developmental Research Awardees

2020 Developmental Research Awardees
  • Combined AURKA and WEE1 targeting inhibits a druggable effector pathway in KRAS mutant lung carcinoma (Barbara Burtness)
  • Exploring defects in MHC I antigen presentation in SCLC with acquired resistance to immunotherapy (Anne Chiang, Katerina Politi)
  • Investigating T and B cell responses against lung cancer in genetically-engineered animal models (Nikhil Joshi, Joseph Craft)
  • Target validation and proof-of-concept for MERTK inhibition in preclinical models of lung cancer (Carla Rothlin, Sourav Ghosh)
  • Probing the Role of the Supermutator, APOBEC3B, in Lung Cancer (Jeff Townsend, Karen Anderson)
2019 Developmental Research Awardees
2018 Developmental Research Awardees
  • Advanced Cardiac Magnetic Resonance Imaging for Detection of Subclinical and Clinical Cardio-Toxicity Associated with Inhibition of the Programmed Cell Death Protein-1 Pathway in the Treatment of Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (Lauren Baldassarre, MD)
  • Immune composition and genomic landscape of non-small cell lung cancer from HIV-infected subjects (Brinda Emu, MD)
  • Profiling functional antibody responses to checkpoint immunotherapy in lung cancer (Aaron Ring, MD, PhD)
  • Development of TLK2 kinase inhibitors to treat KRAS-driven lung cancer (David Calderwood, PhD)
  • A novel epigenetic mechanism in lung cancer resistance (Andrew Xiao, PhD)
2017 Developmental Research Awardees
  • Synthesis of novel OST inhibitors for the treatment of NSCLC (Joseph Contessa)
  • Cas9 screen for identification of novel lung cancer co-therapies (Richard A. Flavell)
  • Development of novel treatments for immunotherapy refractory lung cancer (J. Peter Koo)
2016 Developmental Research Awardees
  • Targeted degradation of tyrosine kinase inhibitor resistant epidermal growth factor receptor mutants in lung cancer (Craig Crews)
  • Herpes viruses in lung cancer (Charles Dela Cruz, Ayman El-Guindy)
  • Genetic factors contributing to lung cancer in the pediatric population (Xiaomei Ma, Andrew DeWan)
  • Uncovering mechanisms of osimertinib resistance in metastasis from lung adenocarcinoma (Don Nguyen)

2016 Lung SPORE/ Beatrice Kleinberg Neuwirth Fund for Pancreatic and Lung Cancer Research Awardees

  • Enumeration and Characterization of Neoantigen-specific T cells in NSCLC patients undergoing immunotherapy (Susan Kaech, Paula Kavathas)
  • Probing epigenetic vulnerability of KRAS-mutant lung cancers using functional genomics (Narendra Wajapeyee)
2015 Developmental Research Awardees
  • Effective TCR for CAR-T treatment of lung cancer (Richard Flavell)
  • Identification of neoantigens for identifying and tracking tumor specific T cells (Susan Kaech, Paula Kavathas)
  • The extracellular matrix as a companion therapeutic target in metastatic lung cancer (Don Nguyen)
  • Non-invasive monitoring of mutations in lung cancer via circulating tumor DNA (Abhijit Patel)