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Foundation offers USC chance at $3 million award

The School of Medicine is among an exclusive group of institutions invited to nominate a cancer investigator for a new private research award worth up to $3 million.

Sponsored by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, the Distinguished Clinical Scientist Award aims to support excellence in patient-based research. Only 25 institutions were asked to nominate a researcher for a cancer grant, according to a foundation official.

Applicants must be associate professors with an M.D. or M.D./Ph.D. degree, and must have an active, externally funded research program. Professors are eligible if they were appointed to their position within the last five years.

The award is worth up to $600,000 a year for five years.

Duke died in 1993 at age 80. She stipulated in her will that charitable awards were to be made in the arts, environment and biomedical research.

The New York-based Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, with a $1.4 billion endowment, was formed after her estate was settled and began giving away money in 1997.

Foundation officials expect to give away about $55 million a year, according to the May 1997 issue of Philanthropy News Digest.

The foundation last year began awarding 3-year, $100,000 per-year grants to assistant professors, said Mary Hinely, an official with BioReview, a private Maryland company that provides some support services for the foundation’s biomedical research grant program.

This is the first year that Distinguished Clinical Scientist Awards will be given to associate professors, she said.

The awards will be given in four research areas: cancer, AIDS, cardiovascular diseases and sickle cell anemia and other blood diseases, Hinely said.

“Those reflect the concerns of Doris Duke,” she said.

The foundation sent nomination invitations to the 25 institutions in each research area that receive the most funding from the National Institutes of Health, Hinely said. USC is in the top 25 in NIH cancer research funding. Physicians interested in the award should contact Michelle McQuade at 442-2355. Preproposal applications must be turned in to KAM 516 by April 30, said McQuade, the assistant director of foundation relations.

The applications will be judged by a faculty selection committee put together by Richard Lolley, dean for scientific affairs, McQuade said.

The preproposal chosen by the faculty selection committee must be turned into the Duke Foundation by May 17. All of the institutions’ preproposals will be evaluated at the end of June by panels of senior clinical researchers that are chaired by members of the foundation’s Scientific Advisory Council.

The panel will select three candidates in each clinical area to prepare full applications, which will be due Sept. 1. Each of these candidates will be interviewed by the council in October, and awards likely will be made in early December.

Foundation offers USC chance at $3 million award

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