Career Enhancement Program (CEP)

Advancing research discoveries into improved care for patients with head and neck cancer requires expansion of the pool of scientists with translational research knowledge. This program provides formal career enhancement training for future scientists desiring to develop novel prevention and treatment strategies for head and neck cancer. 

The CEP represents an essential component of the Wisconsin Head & Neck SPORE’s overarching goal to advance translational research in head and neck oncology. Intensifying translational research requires expansion of the pool of independent investigators who possess the knowledge and training to promote research from bench to bedside. The University of Wisconsin offers an environment that is rich with expertise and resources to train the next generation of HNC translational scientists. This program will foster the development of knowledge, skills, professional attitudes, and experience required for successful academic careers in HNC translational research.

PROJECT PERIOD:  Aug. 1 – Jul. 31, annually

FUNDING LEVELS (1 Year):  Applicants may apply for $10K, $25K or $50K awards.

ELIGIBILITY:  Funds from this program will support independent junior faculty who wish to develop their careers in translational research in Head and Neck Cancer.

The University of Wisconsin is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. The SPORE program places special emphasis on recruiting qualified women and minorities. Final recommendations for funding will be made by the HN SPORE CEP Review Committee.

 Applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Assistant Professor
  • Have minimum of 1 day/week protected time dedicated to translational HNC research
  • Have no current or previous NIH R01 or equivalent funding in HNC research

Have UW mentor(s)[1] with a research focus in HNC

[1] To emphasize translational research career development, dual mentorship is welcome, for example one mentor a basic scientist and another mentor a HNC clinician. 

Application Resources:

Standard Timeline:

  • May 5:  LOI Deadline
  • Jun 1:  Application Deadline
  • June-July:  Awardees Notified
  • August 1:  Projects Begin

CEP Award Summary

Award Year(s)

PI

Title

Department

2017

John Russell, PhD

Mentor: R. Kimple
Co-I: K. Eliceiri

The effects of chemoradiation on the microenvironment of tongue muscles

Surgery

2017

2018 (NCE)

2019

Matthew Witek, MD

Mentor: P. Harari
Co-I: S. Cho
Co-I: G. Avey

PET-MRI assessment of early tumor response to predict outcomes of HPV-positive oropharynx cancer patients

Human Oncology

2017

2018

Andrew Baschnagel, MD

Mentor: P. Harari
Collaborator: R. Kimple

The fibroblast growth factor receptors as targets for radiosensitization in head and neck squamous cell carcinomas

Human Oncology

2017

2018

Anthony Gitter, PhD

Mentor: P. Ahlquist
Collaborator: C. David Page
Co-I: I. Ong
Co-I: P. Liu

Integrative, Multi-dimensional Bioinformatics Analysis of Head and Neck Cancers

Biostatistics and Medical Informatics

2017

2018

Zachary Morris, MD, PhD

Mentor:  P. Harari
Collaborator:  J. Weichert

Molecular targeted radiation therapy for immunomodulation of metastatic head and neck cancer

Human Oncology

2018

2019

Adam Bayliss, PhD

Patrick Hill, PhD

Mentor: R. Kimple
Co-I: M. Witek

Integration of machine learning into a virtualized trial environment for Head and Neck Radiotherapy

Human Oncology

2018

2019

Nicole Rogus-Pulia, PhD

Mentor: S. Thibeault
Mentor: T. McCulloch
Co-I: G. Suen
Co-I: R. Kimple

Effects of Radiation Treatment on Oral Microbiota and Salivary Profiles in Patients with Head and Neck Cancer

Medicine

2019

Gopal Iyer, PhD

Mentor: R. Kimple

Modulation of transcriptional coregulatory bromodomain and extraterminal proteins in head and neck squamous cell carcinomas

Human Oncology

2019

2020

Irene Ong, PhD

Mentor: P. Ahlquist
Co-I: A. Gitter
Co-I: P. Liu
Co-I:  C. David Page

Translating PARADIGM Differential Pathway Analysis of Head and Neck Cancer Subtypes to Direct Drug Treatment Strategies

Biostatistics and Medical Informatics

2020

2021

Huy Dihn, PhD

Mentor: P. Lambert
Co-I: Z. Morris
Co-I: W. Wang

Defining myeloid landscape of head and neck cancer in humans and preclinical mouse model

Oncology

2020

Aaron Wieland, MD

Co-I: D. Beebe
Co-I: J. Bruce

Biospecimen Collection of Patients with Squamous Cell Carcinomas of the Head and Neck (HNSCC) At the Time of Surgical Resection for Patient Specific in vitro modeling of Treatment Response

Surgery

2021

Megan Fitzpatrick, MD

Mentor: P. Lambert
Collaborator: T. Lozar

Transcriptome and protein expression analysis of head and neck versus vulvar HPV-related and independent squamous lesions

Pathology and Laboratory Medicine

2021

Shuang (George) Zhao, MD, PhD

Mentor: Z. Morris
Mentor: J. Lang

Pilot Study to Develop a Novel RNA-seq Liquid Biopsy for H&N Cancer

Human Oncology

CEP Review Committee:

Member

Department

Nadine Connor, PhD (Chair) Surgery and Communication Sciences and Disorders
Paul Harari, MD (ex officio) Human Oncology
Timothy McCulloch, MD Surgery
Paul Lambert, PhD Oncology
David Yang, MD Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
Mark Ritter, MD, PhD Human Oncology and Medical Physics
Rick Chappell, PhD Biostatistics and Medical Informatics
Greg Avey, MD Radiology
Beth Weaver, PhD Cell and Regenerative Biology
Randy Kimple, MD, PhD Human Oncology
Brad Schwartz, MD Morgridge Institute
Marshall Flax, MS Patient Advocate