Aims to improve interdisciplinary collaboration and increase diversity of early-stage investigators in cancer research
SEATTLE, NOVEMBER 15, 2022 – Sage Bionetworks is leading a new coordination center focused on collaboration, resource sharing, and outreach for the cancer research community across six programs funded by the National Institute of Health (NIH) / National Cancer Institute (NCI) Division of Cancer Biology (DCB).
Interdisciplinary communities of scientists convened by DCB are working on important questions in basic and translational cancer research. The Multi-Consortia Coordinating (MC2) Center for Cancer Biology, funded by DCB and hosted by Sage Bionetworks, breaks down existing silos and barriers that can hamper research collaboration. The MC2 Center works to motivate engagement and collaboration across consortia, support resource sharing, and disseminate knowledge among cancer biologists.
“Sage Bionetworks’ well-established Synapse platform, and the software ecosystem we’ve built on and around it, enables data and tool sharing and provides a solid foundation for the MC2 Center’s open science approach,” said James Eddy, Director of Architecture & Operations at Sage Bionetworks. “The MC2 Center facilitates research teams’ ability to collaborate and helps the broader cancer biology community find and use the resources these teams are generating.”
The MC2 Center aims to catalyze cancer research collaboration across disciplines and institutional boundaries. Sage Bionetworks and its project partners at Yale University, Colorado University Anschutz, Harvard Medical School, and the Carbone Cancer Center (CCC) and Institute for Clinical and Translational Research (ICTR) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison are learning and piloting methods and tools that support this goal.
The MC2 Center provides the perfect opportunity to build evidence-driven collaboration systems, learning through a “science of Team Science” approach about how to foster a culture of trust and openness in the cancer research community.
“Applying lessons from the field of the Science of Team Science to the development of the MC2 network allows us to provide targeted resources to build a community of researchers across these six successful programs,” said Betsy Rolland, Director of Team Science + Research Development at UWCCC and ICTR. “Our team will facilitate connections that provide researchers with even greater opportunities to collaborate on high-impact transformative research that, ultimately, will benefit cancer patients.”
Investing in the next generation of cancer biologists is also an important goal of the MC2 Center effort. Increased diversity and inclusion of investigators at the early stages of their careers throughout the infrastructure of MC2 Center – from steering committees to award programs – can create opportunities for researchers from historically marginalized communities to strengthen their career trajectories and meaningfully contribute to collaborative biomedical science.
“Discovery requires a diversity of perspectives and opportunities for many types of researchers to contribute to collective problem solving,” shares Julie Bletz, Director of Science Coordination at Sage Bionetworks. “At Sage Bionetworks, we believe finding ways to better support and integrate early-career investigators is a key element in creating a successful future for cancer biology research. Centering an inclusive and team-based approach can speed the translation of science into medicine.”
ABOUT SAGE BIONETWORKS
Sage Bionetworks (sagebionetworks.org) is a non-profit health research organization based in Seattle, Washington. Sage Bionetworks uses open practices that increase the reliability of scientific claims to speed the translation of science to medicine. Through its work, Sage Bionetworks supports responsible data sharing, objective evaluation of methods and results across researchers, and the empowerment of participants to be active partners in research.
Molly Michal, Team Soapbox