The UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center successfully renewed its Paul Calabresi Career Development Award for Clinical Oncology (PCACO) K12. The award provides $3.98 million in National Cancer Institute (NCI) funding through 2026 to increase the number of clinician scientists trained in clinical and translational cancer research, and to promote their career development as cancer researchers.

NCI initiated the program in 1991. In 1994 it was renamed the Paul Calabresi Award in Clinical Oncology in honor of the late Paul Calabresi, a pioneering oncologist who led the development of cancer drugs.

Scholars are selected through a rigorous process and are expected to develop their own investigator-initiated clinical trial during the training period.

Paul CalabresiThe cancer center leverages the program to train junior faculty (basic/translational scientists and clinician scientists) as investigators in team-based, patient-oriented cancer research. Upon successful completion of a three-year, salary-supported core curriculum, scholars receive a UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center Certificate in Clinical Cancer Research.

“This is a high-impact program to nurture patient-oriented cancer researchers early in their career to become independent investigators,” said UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center Director Primo “Lucky” Lara Jr., who is also the PCACO principal investigator and program director.

Selected scholars will receive 75% protected time for research, formal mentored training in clinical cancer research, $100,000 per year (for up to 3 years) to support salary and benefits, and $13,000 per year (for up to three years) for research and travel expenses.

The mentored research training plan will be supervised by two senior, independently funded faculty members (one basic/translational mentor and one clinical mentor) who will guide the scholar in the development and conduct of his/her research project.