NCI Award to Kirsch Lab Renewed

Congratulations to Duke Cancer Institute radiation oncologist David Kirsch, MD, PhD, whose R35 Outstanding Investigator Award (OIA) from the National Cancer Institute (which provides flexible funding to pursue high-impact research over seven years) has been renewed for another 7-year term. The $6.65M grant will provide the Kirsch Lab funding to study radiation and sarcoma biology.

The NCI OIA supports investigators with outstanding records of cancer research accomplishments by providing extended funding stability and encouraging investigators to continue or embark on a research program of unusual potential to make important discoveries. The OIA allows substantial time for funded investigators to take greater risks and be more adventurous in their research. 

"The R35 award will provide our lab with flexible funding to conduct high-impact research. This grant mechanism does not fund a specific project. In fact, the application does not allow applicants to submit a specific aims page," said Kirsch, the Barbara Levine University Distinguished Professor, professor of Radiation Oncology and professor of Pharmacology and Cancer Biology, Duke University School of Medicine. "Instead, the award is based on prior research productivity and impact with a vision for important new research directions. Being funded again for another seven years by the NCI was made possible by the hard work and great accomplishments of all of the Kirsch lab members over the past seven years, which includes talented radiation oncology residents; graduate students including MD/PhD students; post-docs; and technicians."

Kirsch said the team will dissect basic mechanisms of sarcoma development and will examine tumor response to radiation therapy alone and in combination with immunotherapy. The team aims to identify new therapeutic targets in specific sarcoma subtypes for eventual translation to the clinic.

This article, with some modification, originally appeared on the Department of Radiation Oncology website, and was posted here with the author's permission


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