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Kim receives Research Specialist Award from NCI to advance clinical trials

Date Visible: 
04/21/2023 - 1:45pm

Media contact: Nicole Fawcett, 734-764-2220 |  Patients may contact Cancer AnswerLine 800-865-1125

Funding will support multidisciplinary coordination of care and research for central nervous system tumors

ANN ARBOR, Michigan – Michelle Kim, M.D., associate professor of radiation oncology at Michigan Medicine, has received a Research Specialist Award from the National Cancer Institute to pursue clinical research efforts at the University of Michigan Rogel Cancer Center and nationally.

The Research Specialist Award, or R50, encourages the development of stable research career opportunities in any area of NCI-funded cancer research for exceptional scientists who do not serve as independent investigators. Kim’s focus is on clinical research for central nervous system (CNS) tumors. She has developed and led five investigator-initiated studies and enrolled 165 patients to trials since 2015.

“This is a critical funding mechanism in support of NCI-funded clinical trials,” Kim said. “I chose to focus in part on tumors that have metastasized to the central nervous system, which is an area of unmet need that bridges disease sites and departments. I hope to enhance the multidisciplinary coordination that is critical to successful clinical trial conduct and optimal patient care.”

With this $550,000 grant, Kim proposes launching a screening program to improve clinical trial enrollment for patients with CNS tumors. She also will seek to partner with Michigan Medicine’s affiliated community sites to develop streamlined processes for multi-site collaboration and launch a network for virtual CNS metastases tumor boards to discuss cases and trial options. Through coordinated multidisciplinary care, this effort will also aim to enroll a more diverse range of patients underrepresented in clinical trials.

Kim is also working to develop a phase 2/3 trial investigating an imaging biomarker to personalize radiotherapy in patients with glioblastoma, which could be the first fully collaborative partnership between three national cooperative research groups.

“I hope the collaborative initiatives that emanate from this grant will shape the landscape of research on an institutional and national level for years to come,” Kim said.

Funding is from the National Cancer Institute grant 1R50CA276015-01.