PROJECT SUMMARY: OVERALL
The Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center (Sylvester) at the University of Miami seeks National Cancer
Institute (NCI) designation to support its mission to reduce the human burden from cancer through research,
education, prevention, and the delivery of quality patient care. Sylvester, the only academic Cancer Center
located in South Florida, serves one of the most diverse catchment areas in the US. This four-county region
(Broward, Miami-Dade, Monroe, and Palm Beach Counties), commonly known as South Florida, is home to
more than six million residents and is characterized by substantial ethnic, cultural, racial, and socioeconomic
diversity, reflected in the individuals treated by Sylvester and those affected by its outreach efforts.
Led by Stephen D. Nimer, MD since 2012, Sylvester leadership has assembled a highly collaborative group of
investigators that now includes 114 cancer scientists from three University Schools and Colleges. Sylvester’s
research is organized into three Research Programs—Cancer Control, Cancer Epigenetics, and Tumor
Biology. These programs are unified by crosscutting scientific themes and by Sylvester’s broader mission to
address the cancer burden and disparities prevalent in its catchment area. Sylvester has invested heavily in
these Research Programs and in four state-of-the-art shared resources that support Sylvester’s cancer
researchers: the Biostatistics and Bioinformatics, Onco-Genomics, Flow Cytometry, and Behavioral and
Community-Based Research Shared Resources.
Sylvester has also invested heavily in its clinical research infrastructure, which has led to a dramatic increase
in interventional treatment accruals (from 75 in 2011 to 509 in 2017), with more than 50% of the 4,568 patient
accruals in 2017 representing racial/ethnic minorities. The University has made a substantial commitment to
advancing Sylvester’s research capabilities since 2012, supporting the recruitment of 41 cancer researchers
and doubling Cancer Center space. Sylvester has also expanded its pre- and post-doctoral training efforts
across the clinical, basic, translational, and population sciences, which have been rewarded with five recently
awarded NIH or NCI-funded T32 training grants, a U54 grant with a significant training component, and a Paul
Calabresi K12 grant. Finally, Sylvester has invested roughly $5.7M in its Intramural Funding Program from
2014 to 2018, which has yielded $25.2M in peer-reviewed funding. Today, Sylvester has $38M in extramural
research funding (including training grants), which includes $11M from the NCI; this represents a 12% and
64% increase, respectively, over the past year.
These impressive achievements have created a culture and environment that enable Sylvester scientists to
make valuable contributions to the understanding of cancer biology and the development of novel approaches
to cancer prevention, diagnosis, and treatment.