Career Development Program

The MD Anderson Ovarian SPORE Career Development Program was designed to train and guide academic physician-scientists, clinician-investigators and laboratory-based researchers who wish to dedicate their efforts to translational research in the areas of diagnosis, prevention and treatment of ovarian cancer. To meet this goal, the specific objectives of the Career Development Program are to:

  • Recruit and train young physician-scientists, clinician-investigators and laboratory-based researchers to become leaders in translational research on ovarian cancer
  • Provide dedicated time to perform clinically relevant laboratory research and hypothesis-driven clinical trials
  • Provide support for translational research that will generate preliminary data and relevant publications for a full SPORE project or for peer-reviewed funding outside the SPORE mechanism
  • Mentor effectively those chosen for career development
  • Offer educational experiences that address the unique needs of the awardees

The SPORE Career Development Awards involve up to two years of mentored research in ovarian cancer in which awardees learn through experience and their mentor to conduct a research project. Mentors are the co-project leaders of the SPORE. Awardees can obtain more formal training, including courses offered by The University of Texas-Houston Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences in molecular biology, genetics, biostatistics, epidemiology, physiology and pharmacology. 

Awardees can also participate in the MD Anderson K30 curriculum for clinical investigators and have the option to earn an M.S. or Ph.D. in patient-based biological research. 

Please direct questions to Charlotte Clarke at 713-792-7890 or via e-mail at

Career Development Awards


  • Guang Peng, Ph.D.
    Assistant Professor, Clinical Cancer Prevention - Rsch
    Targeting ARID1A-deficiency in ovarian cancer
  • Xiaojun Liu, Ph.D.
    Assistant Professor, Experimental Therapeutics
    Targeting BRCA1/2-deficient ovarian cancer with sapacitabine

2011 - 2013

  • Alpa Nick, M.D.
    Assistant Professor, Gynecologic Oncology & Reproductive Medicine
    A novel breath-based bioassay for the detection of ovarian cancer
  • Roel Verhaak, Ph.D.
    Assistant Professor, Bioinformatics & Computational Biology
    Validating interagenic breakpoints in ovarian cancer


  • Shannon Hawkins, M.D., Ph.D.
    Assistant Professor, Obstetrics & Gynecology, Baylor College of Medicine
    Ovarian cancer, endometriosis, and epigenetics
  • Junghae Suh, Ph.D.
    Assistant Professor, Bioengineering, Rice University
    Directed evolution of viral vectors for ovarian cancer treatment

2007 - 2009

  • Michel Gilliet, M.D.
    Associate Professor, Immunology
    Role of plasmacytoid dendritic cells in the generation and maintenance of T regulatory cells in ovarian cancer
  • Charles N. Landen, Jr., M.D.
    Assistant Professor, Gynecologic Oncology
    Characterization and therapeutic targeting of ovarian cancer stem cells