After a nearly 18-month-long process, we have received word from the National Cancer Institute regarding our application for designation.
The site visit team was very impressed by the progress we have made over the past several years. They and the NCI recognized many strengths of our application, including our core resources, our leadership team and our outstanding procedures for conduct of clinical trials. Seven components of the grant scored in the outstanding range and our final score was very respectable.
The site visit report was presented to the NCI director and his leadership team, but unfortunately the decision was made to decline designating and funding us at this time. While our infrastructure, processes and training activities were rated highly, it was felt that our center needed more time to demonstrate translational outcomes of our research programs. We have been strongly encouraged to reapply in the next two to three years once our programs have additional time to demonstrate how our initiatives are impacting our catchment area. We intend to do just that and remain steadfast in our commitment to obtain NCI designation.
I want to personally thank all of our members, trainees and staff for their tireless efforts to advance cancer research and care on behalf of our patients and the residents of Florida. We came very close on this first submission and I am convinced we are on the right course. We will continue expansion of our research programs and the translation of basic and population science findings to the patients we serve. The associate directors and program leaders will be working with me in the coming weeks to plan our resubmission and to address opportunities to further improve our center. I remain confident that working together, we will ultimately reach our goal.
Jonathan D. Licht, M.D.
University of Florida Health Cancer Center