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Cancer Control Research

1R13CA126254-01
Smith, Eric M.
RESEARCH PERSPECTIVES IN PSYCHONEUROIMMUNOLOGY

Abstract

DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): The funds requested herein are for the support of 25 pre- and post-doctoral trainees to attend five annual conferences of the Psychoneuroimmunology Research Society (PNIRS), Research Perspectives in PNI. There are approximately 300 members of the PNIRS from the U.S. and abroad, of whom up to 40% are trainee members. Training new investigators is a major goal of the society. A Trainee Scholars Advisory Committee to select the awardees and direct the project includes PNIRS officers, past presidents and next meeting organizer plus society members' actively studying psychoneuroimmunology (PNI) and cancer. All trainee awardees will be selected on the basis of the scientific excellence of their submitted abstracts. The primary goal of this proposal is to educate the trainees about PNI and cancer at a formative stage in their careers such that it may influence their future research focus. A considerable body of research suggests that psychological factors alter susceptibility to illness and affect disease progression. Cancer is one of the diseases that PNI has been implicated having a role in from the beginning of the PNI field. To determine the mechanisms by which psychological factors have this effect, it is essential to promote and enable interactions among immunologists, neuroscientists, behavioral scientists, and cancer experts. This conference will provide an outstanding opportunity for trainees to interact with researchers in the field of psychoneuroimmunology (nervous-immune system interactions and their implications on cancer and other diseases). They will learn about available resources for collaborative work, additional training opportunities, and issues related to technical aspects of analysis in the areas of cancer biology, immunology, neurophysiology, neuroanatomy, endocrinology, psychology, and health evaluations, among others. The meeting agenda includes the Norman Cousins Lecture, five symposia, plenary presentations and poster sessions selected from submitted abstracts. A number of training-related activities are planned for each annual meeting consistent with the society's commitment to training: specialized Educational Courses; Senior Faculty-trainee colloquia; symposia with a focus on career development (e.g., NCI and NIH funding opportunities: Grant writing); and panel discussions (e.g., teaching PNI). Other more informal venues (e.g. breakfast and luncheon roundtable meetings with senior investigators, trainee dinners) will foster research collaborations and interactions between senior scientists and trainees. Across five years of funding, an Advisory Committee comprised of senior scientists and "graduates" of the trainee travel award program will oversee this organizational commitment to research training within the context of the PNIRS conference.


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