2020 CSBC Program Evaluation Findings and Recommendations
In 2015, NCI issued two Requests for Applications (RFA-CA-15-014 and RFA-CA-15-015) to support research on basic cancer biology using systems biology approaches. The Cancer Systems Biology Consortium (CSBC) RFAs define cancer systems biology as the integration of experimental biology and computational or mathematical modeling to build and test predictive models of cancer initiation, progression, treatment and metastasis. From its inception through March 2021, the CSBC program awarded 37 grants including 13 U54 Research Centers, 23 U01 Research Projects, and one U24 Coordinating Center.
In March 2021, the NCI Board of Scientific Advisors (BSA) determined the appropriateness of program reissuance. In support of this process, the NCI Division of Cancer Biology program staff compiled quantitative and qualitative data into the CSBC Evaluation Data Report to inform on progress towards the original CSBC goals:
- Advance understanding of mechanisms that underlie fundamental processes in cancer
- Support the broad application of systems biology approaches in cancer research
- Support the growth of a strong and stable research community in cancer systems biology.
In addition, program staff provided CSBC Research Highlights.
These data were reviewed by an external expert panel convened by the Institute for Defense Analyses Science and Technology Policy Institute in May through November 2020. The expert panel provided their findings and recommendations to NCI on the extent to which the CSBC achieved the goals. See CSBC Expert Panel Findings and Recommendations for details.
The BSA was provided all evaluation documents and a concept for reissuance of the U54 and U24 RFAs, which were summarized in a presentation at the March 16 BSA meeting. The board recommended reissuance of the program at this meeting. See presentation slides and video recording for more details:
- CSBC U54/U24 Reissuance Request to the NCI BSA (slides)
- CSBC U54/U24 reissuance request to the NCI BSA (recording starting at 1:56:00)
The related U54 and U24 RFAs were reissued and published on July 28, 2021: