publications in peer-reviewed scientific journals, and 35 percent of survey respondents held patents on their work. Nearly all (96 percent) survey respondents indicated that they were still conducting research or had been until their retirement. Finally, 83 percent of survey respondents indicated that they were working in areas relevant to understanding cancer and/or finding new approaches to prevent, diagnose, or treat it.
Fellows have had an outstanding record of securing additional extramural funding. Over 90 percent of the survey respondents who started their Damon Runyon fellowships prior to 1995 and were working at U.S. academic research institutions at the time of the survey have been a principal investigator on an R01 or R29 grant from the National Institutes of Health. The age at which respondents received their first R01 has varied slightly over time, but averaged 35. Survey respondents also obtained prestigious awards from private sources; among them were 26 Pew scholars, 19 Burroughs-Wellcome Fund awardees, 19 Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) investigators, 17 Searle scholars, and 6 American Cancer Society professors. Among the total pool of former Damon Runyon fellows (not just survey respondents), there were 22 current HHMI investigators, representing 7 percent of all HHMI investigators, at the time of the analysis.
Fellows also assumed positions of leadership. Among the survey respondents, 53 had served as department chairs, 29 as institute directors, and 11 as deans. Moreover, fellows were recognized and honored for their scientific leadership through a number of national and international awards. At the time of the analysis, 19 former Damon Runyon fellows had been elected to the National Academy of Sciences and seven to the Institute of Medicine. Former fellows had also won major cancer prizes. Three won cancer prizes from General Motors: George Klein, M.D., and Bruce Stillman, Ph.D., won the Alfred P. Sloan, Jr. Prize, and Peter Vogt, Ph.D., won the Charles S. Mott Prize. Susumu Tonegawa, Ph.D., and Peter Vogt, Ph.D., received the Brisol-Myers Squibb Freedom to Discover Award for Distinguished Achievement in Cancer Research. Three former fellows had received Lasker awards: Min Chiu Li, M.D., in 1972; Susumu Tonegawa, Ph.D., in 1987; and James E. Rothman, Ph.D., in 2002. Two former fellows have received a Nobel Prize: Susumu Tonegawa, Ph.D., in 1987, and Sidney Altman, Ph.D., in 1989.
Nearly all of the survey respondents, 98 percent, felt that the Damon Runyon fellowship had a positive impact on their careers. In addition, 74 percent felt that the fellowship made them more competitive in the job market, 66 percent found that it gave them confidence in their ideas, 52 percent felt that it gave them freedom to pursue their own ideas, and 51 percent felt that it helped them obtain subsequent funding.
Damon Runyon Postdoctoral Cancer Research Fellowship
2011-451 Postdoctoral Cancer Research Fellowship (Damon Runyon)
TOPIC: The Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation is inviting postdoctoral fellowship applications to support theoretical and experimental research relevant to the study of cancer and the search for cancer causes, mechanisms, therapies and prevention. Candidates must apply under the guidance of a Sponsor: a scientist (tenured, tenure-track or equivalent position) capable of providing mentorship to the Fellow.
DEADLINE: Applications are due August 15.
FUNDS: Level 1 fellowships offer $50,000 annually, and Level 2 fellowships $60,000 annually, for three years.
ELIGIBILITY: Applicants must have completed one or more of the following degrees or their equivalents: MD, PhD, MD/PhD, DDS, DVM. For Level 1 funding, basic and physician-scientists must have received their degrees no more than one year prior to the FAC meeting at which their applications are to be considered. For Level 2 funding, physician-scientist applicants (MD, MD/PhD, DDS, DVM or the equivalent) must have completed their residencies and clinical training no more than three years prior to the FAC meeting at which their applications are to be considered. Candidates who have already accepted a postdoctoral research fellowship award are not eligible. If you are interested in applying to this foundation, please contact UCI's office of Foundation Development: Marge Brannon, Director (email
firstname.lastname@example.org) or Jim Crawford, Senior Director (email@example.com).