Developmental awards provide pilot funding to foster collaborative new studies between the five major research programs within the UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center. Applicants should carefully consider utilizing one or more of the cancer center's shared resources. If you have questions about your proposal's relevance to the research programs or about appropriate use of shared resources, you are strongly urged to contact program leaders or shared resource directors and staff.


Funds for this program are provided intramurally by the UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center, using its Cancer Center Support Grant (P30) and, internal research accounts. The number of awards vary from year to year based on availability of funds. Award decisions are made intramurally by cancer center senior leadership. Because awards are intramural, they are not processed through sponsored programs at the School of Medicine or through the Office of Research.


Any UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center member or pending member of the cancer center is welcome to apply.

Request for applications

The request for applications is generally issued in the spring with a June 1 deadline and a July 1 start date through the cancer program listserv. To be advised of forthcoming requests, please send an email to with "Please add me to the cancer center email list" in the subject line to be added to the cancer program mailing list. The application and instructions are attached to the request. Proposals are submitted electronically (via email) as a pdf attachment to Awardees are required to sign an award acceptance form that includes a commitment to presenting the pilot project at the cancer center's symposia, mandatory progress reports for up to five years post award, and acknowledgement of the cancer center support grant (NCI P30CA093373) in all publications and grants that result from the funding.

Review criteria

Proposals that are favorably reviewed will have the following characteristics in addition to excellent to outstanding scientific merit:

  • clear relevance to one or more cancer center research programs
  • utilization of one or more of the center's shared resources, if appropriate
  • collaborations among two or more cancer center members
  • anticipated results are likely to lead to peer-reviewed scientific publications and significant, peer-reviewed extramural funding
  • proposed budget and project period are realistic and appropriate

Note: At the discretion of the cancer center director, certain calls for developmental award applications may focus on a particular topic to promote an area of research and/or may be a partnership with another center in the latter circumstance, the review panel will be multi-center.

Erin Brown, M.D. and  Jinhwan Kim, Ph.D.

Targeted Delivery of Novel Biotherapeutics for Neuroblastoma

Janai Carr-Ascher, M.D., Ph.D. and Lifeng Xu, Ph.D.

Targeting cancers utilizing alternative lengthening of telomeres

Shuchi Gulati, M.D., John Albeck, Ph.D., and Ching-Hsien Chen, Ph.D.

Functional metabolic transitions in kidney cancer

Keith Bein, Ph.D., Christoph Vogel, Ph.D., and Joseph Tuscano, M.D.

Assessment of Wildfire smoke exposure and the risk of lymphoma development: possible role of the Ah-Receptor as a central mediator

Shehnaz Hussain, Ph.D., Irva Hertz-Picciotto, Ph.D., and Jasquelin Pena, Ph.D.

Wildfire exposures through air and water and their impact on cancer

Sean Collins, Ph.D., and Jennifer Cash, Ph.D.

GPCR signaling through PDZ-RhoGEF in cancer cell migration

Alexander Borowsky, M.D. and Hyeongsun Moon, D.V.M., Ph.D.

Defining cellular subsets responsible for CXCL12-mediated melanoma promotion

Joseph Tuscano, M.D. and Kermit Carraway, Ph.D.

An Antibody-Drug Conjugate for Targeted Lysosomal Cell Death

Sean Collins, Ph.D. 

Engineering Functional and Customizable Two-Component Signaling for Immunotherapy Applications

Janai Carr-Ascher, M.D., Ph.D.

Comprehensive Analysis of Novel Sarcoma Metastasis Models

Kermit Carraway, Ph.D.

Targeting therapy-resistant breast cancer cells via lysosomal cell death

Sepideh Gholami, M.D. and Steven George, M.D., Ph.D.

Immune Modeling of Colorectal Liver Metastases on a Chip 

Chang-il Hwang, Ph.D.

Engrailed-1 and Epigenetic Vulnerabilities in Metastatic Pancreatic Cancer

Kermit Carraway, Ph.D. and James Angelastro Ph.D.

Planar cell polarity pathway contribution to glioblastoma malignancy

Kit Lam, M.D., Ph.D.

Development of a dual function radioprobe for PET imaging and radiotherapy of brain cancer

Kia Shahlaie, M.D., Ph.D., FAANS

Intracranial Electrode Implantation to Deliver Spherical Tumor Treatment Fields Therapy for Management of Glioblastoma Multiforme

Min Zhao, M.D., Ph.D. and Gabriela Loots, Ph.D.

Metastasize or not, is electrotaxis a differentiating factor?

Tzu-yin Lin, D.V.M., Ph.D., and Yuanpei Li, Ph.D.

Photo-immunotherapy with metabolic checkpoint inhibitor and bladder cancer targeted nanoporphyrin.

Emilie Roncali, Ph.D.

Y-90 PET for Liver Cancer Radioembolization Dosimetry.

Kermit Carraway, Ph.D., and John McPherson, Ph.D.

Contribution of a HER2 SNP to cancer disparities.

Cecilia Giulivi, Ph.D., and Jian-Jian Li, M.D., Ph.D.

CDK1-mediated bioenergetics in therapy-resistant breast cancer.

John Albeck, Ph.D., and Gabriela Loots, Ph.D.

CDK1-mediated bioenergetics in therapy-resistant breast cancer.

Russell Hovey, Ph.D.

A new animal model for breast cancer.

Jill Joseph, M.D., Ph.D., and Lisa Miller, Ph.D.

Improving Food Choice in Cancer Survivors through Nutrition Label Use.

Kit Lam, M.D., Ph.D., and Nitin Nitin, Ph.D.

High resolution 3D imaging of tumor nanodelivery using click chemistry and tissue clearing agents.

Alex Revzin, Ph.D., and Alex Noy, Ph.D.

Dynamic molecular scale high-speed AFM characterization of cancer cell surfaces.

Min Zhao, M.D., Ph.D., and Felice Lightstone, Ph.D.

Molecular, cellular and extracellular “electrical” properties of cancer cells.

Mingyi Chen, M.D., Ph.D., and Jin Zhang, Ph.D.

The role of p53-RBM38 axis in regulating normal and malignant hematopoiesis.

Joyce Lee, Pharm.D., and Jenna Burton, D.V.M.

Ph 1 evaluation of nanomicelle encapsulated doxorubicin in dogs with lymphoma.

Arta Monjazeb, M.D., Ph.D., and Michael Kent, D.V.M.

VTX-2337 plus radiotherapy for metastatic canine malignancies.

Joseph Tuscano, M.D., and Robert Rebhun, D.V.M., Ph.D.

A Phase I/II study of FWGP in canine lymphoma patients.

Kermit Carraway, Ph.D.

Targeting breast cancer stem cells via programmed necrosis

Paramita Ghosh, Ph.D.

Determining combinations of inhibitors of the EGFR family of receptor tyrosine kinases that prevent progression of bladder cancer.

Eric Kurzrock, M.D.

Novel treatment of bladder cancer with cell.

Tianhong Li, M.D., Ph.D.

Characterization of NSCLC patient-derived xenografts in NSG mice.

Laura Marcu, Ph.D.

Bi-modal imaging technique for intra-operative diagnosis of brain tumor.

Allen Gao, M.D., Ph.D., and Gabriela Loots, Ph.D.

The role of the WNT antagonist sclerostin in prostate cancer metastasis.

Ruiwu Liu, Ph.D., and Brian Bennion, Ph.D.

Identify small molecule inhibitors of AR DNA binding domain.

William Murphy, Ph.D., and Matthew Coleman, Ph.D.

Use of nanoparticles for delivering immunotherapy.