HENDERSON, Ky. (WEHT) – Officials say the Indiana University (IU) Melvin and Bren Simon Comprehensive Cancer Center was awarded a prestigious grant to train the next generation of cancer drug discovery and development researchers.

IU says known as a T32 grant, the five-year, $794,000 National Cancer Institute award will establish the Pediatric and Adult Translational Cancer Drug Discovery and Development Training Program (PACT-D3). The award supports three graduate fellows annually, with the cancer center adding to the grant to support an additional two students.

Officials say the PACT-D3 will allow graduate fellows to have a cancer center mentor who is conducting research in drug discovery and development while learning about potential career paths in academic, biotech and pharma settings. Fellows will be paired with an investigator whose lab focuses on pediatric cancers, adult cancers or overlapping efforts.

“This training program builds on the cancer center’s expertise and drug discovery efforts while uniquely addressing both pediatric and adult cancers,” said Mark R. Kelley, PhD, the Betty and Earl Herr Professor of Pediatric Oncology Research at IU School of Medicine and the associate director of basic science research at the cancer center.

IU says part of the cancer center’s education and training opportunities, the PACT-D3 program is available to IU School of Medicine PhD students or MD/PhD students. The first fellows will be named this fall.