The Columbia University center for Cancer Systems Therapeutics (CaST) invites applications for pilot projects aimed at leveraging and extending the center’s research. Two projects will be funded for a duration of one year, for a maximum of $25K in direct costs each.

CaST (https://systemsbiology.columbia.edu/cast) is a member of NCI’s Cancer Systems Biology Consortium (CSBC, http://csbconsortium.org/), an initiative that aims to address challenges of complexity in basic and translational cancer research through the use of experimental biology combined with in silico modeling, multi-dimensional data analysis, and systems engineering. The overarching mission of CaST is to investigate the dysregulated, time-dependent mechanisms that preside over tumor homeostasis and canalization, considering the effects of inter- and intratumor heterogeneity, endogenous (i.e., genomic-based) perturbations, and exogenous (i.e., microenvironment and small-molecule-based) signals. To that end CaST investigators utilize advanced computational and experimental systems biology approaches to delineate the regulatory networks that are responsible for maintaining tumor homeostasis, to understand how these networks integrate genetic and epigenetic signals, and to characterize how they adapt to the stresses of pharmacological treatment. 

Eligibility and Requirements

Applicants must be officers of Instruction/Research at Columbia University. Applications must include at least one CaST faculty member as a co-investigator, to ensure that the proposed research is aligned with the mission of the center. While there are no restrictions on the type of project proposed, it is generally anticipated that proposals will follow in one of the following two categories:

  • Technology application projects that apply and validate center technologies to cancer model systems other than those already studied by the center and which result in the transfer of knowhow to the labs of investigators that are not center members.
  • Technology development projects which seek to develop new computational or/and experimental approaches which complement or enhance the capabilities of the center, e.g., by leveraging new knowledge or/and technologies.

Funds will be dispensed in two parts: one half at the beginning of the project and the second half after a successful mid-point review in which applicants will be invited to give a progress update to the center’s Executive Steering Committee. 

Application Process

Applications must comprise the following documents:

  • Research proposal (not exceeding 2 pages, excluding references): Provides the technical description of the proposed project. It should be structured as follows:
    • Specific Aims: Describes the scientific goals.
    • Significance: Explains the importance of the proposed work and how it is connected to the mission of the CaST.
    • Research Strategy: Outlines the methods that will be used to conduct the project and explains how effort will be split between applicants and their collaborating CaST co-investigators. This section must also describe what will have been achieved in time for the project’s mid-point review.
    • References (no page limit).
  • Budget. The proposal budget must be provided using PHS 398 form page 4 and must be accompanied by a budget justification that explains each budget line item.
  • Biosketches. Biosketches should be provided for all key personnel.

Submit your complete application package no later than May 31st 2019 to the following e-mail address: floratos@c2b2.columbia.edu

Key Facts

Number of awards: 2
Maximum award direct cost budget: $25K
Proposal submission deadline: June 1st, 2020
Funding decision announced: July 15th, 2020
Project start: August 1st, 2020
E-mail address for application submission: floratos@c2b2.columbia.edu