Columbia University

Technology Ventures

Emerson Collective Clinical Research Award

Friday, November 13, 2020 - 5:00pm



Emerson Collective seeks to fund collaborative clinical research focused on populations with unequal burdens of colorectal cancer (CRC) by exploring the association between molecular characteristics such as tumor mutation and clinical characteristics such as disease stage, recurrence rate, and overall survival. 

Research at the American Cancer Society finds that unfavorable CRC tumor characteristics are estimated to account for 26% of the survival disparities in African American patients younger than age 65, and 40-50% in older patients.  Further integration of multi-omics approaches to characterize the tumor and microenvironment (including microbiome) into pathologic tumor staging with rigorous methods and digital pathology workflows are needed.  Additionally, there is further need for prospective collection and integration of ancestry informative markers, sociodemographic data, and detailed comorbidity information with detailed tumor and host biology.  Bringing these disparate data sets together will require collaboration, and likely a combination of resources that could include retrospective analysis of early phase investigator initiated clinical trials, clinical cancer registries such as the Veterans Affairs Central Cancer Registry, and biospecimen banked samples.

Concept papers (up to 5 pages, minimum single-spaced, 11-point font, with half-inch margins) that bring collaboration from multiple experts to address this goal should include independent specific aims, outcomes, and a timeline of key milestones.  Supporting references or preliminary data figures would not count against these page limits.  Concepts will be evaluated by the availability of biospecimens to statistically power proposed aims, adequacy of the proposed methods and potential for proposed outcome(s) to significantly accelerate the progress of clinical research in CRC.  Projects will be considered for funding up to $1,000,000 over 24 months, and the opportunity to fund portions of the scope of the concept proposed should be clearly presented.  A detailed budget of specific costs is required, along with biographical sketch(es) of lead investigator(s), which should follow NIH format.  Through this research, we hope to provide sufficient opportunity for further collaboration, to bring cutting-edge research tools to these studies, and to enable further support for personalized treatment of patients with CRC.

Please submit concepts for consideration by November 13 and questions to