Ciombor chosen for NCI clinical investigator team leadership awardJul. 15, 2021, 3:55 PM
by Tom Wilemon
Kristen Ciombor, MD, MSCI, is one of 10 physicians nationwide selected by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) for the 2021 Cancer Clinical Investigator Team Leadership Award.
Established in 2009, the awards recognize outstanding investigators at NCI-Designated Cancer Centers and offer partial salary support for two years that allows these physicians to devote 15% to 20% of their time to clinical trial development, support and education.
Ciombor, an associate professor of Medicine in the Division of Hematology and Oncology who was recruited to Vanderbilt in 2017, is already a national principal investigator for two ongoing clinical trials. She will continue to focus on designing, implementing and analyzing clinical trials for colorectal cancer through this award. She said Jordan Berlin, MD, Daniel Beauchamp, MD, and Robert Coffey, MD, inspired her to become a clinical investigator while she was a hematology and oncology fellow at Vanderbilt from 2009 to 2013 and also completing a Master of Science in Clinical Investigation degree.
“Part of this award responsibility is personally mentoring a younger generation of people interested in cancer, oncology and clinical research by helping them navigate the resources that our cancer center has to develop their careers,” she said. “Being able to teach them what I have learned is really exciting.”
Ciombor received her undergraduate degree in Biomedical Sciences from Harvard University and her medical degree from University of Miami Miller School of Medicine before completing her fellowship at Vanderbilt. She then was an assistant professor of Internal Medicine, Division of Medical Oncology, at The Ohio State University from 2013 to 2017.
“This award is really a unique one that demonstrates that the NCI values clinical investigators and particularly how clinical research is an example of team science,” she said. “It’s such a great honor to be chosen by the NCI, but also to be nominated for the award by Vanderbilt. I’m looking forward to working on the projects associated with his award, and I really appreciate the support.”
The Cancer Clinical Investigator Team Leadership Awards are intended to support and retain investigators in academic clinical research careers. The awardees are full-time faculty members who are board-certified physicians and have practiced medicine between three years and eight years post-fellowship.
“The NCI is pleased to recognize these 10 talented investigators who dedicate themselves to the conduct of NCI cancer clinical trials,” said Sheila Prindiville, MD, MPH, director of NCI’s Coordinating Center for Clinical Trials. “These awardees, five men and five women, have outstanding leadership skills and will be conducting clinical trials in a range of adult cancer types, testing new cancer therapies, developing critical biomarkers and moving the field of personalized medicine forward.
“Additionally, these awardees will be educating and mentoring the next generation of clinical trialists, working to enhance participation of underserved populations in clinical trials and improve community engagement and access.”