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University of Colorado Cancer Center

University of Colorado Cancer Center, A National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center


The University of Colorado Cancer Center encourages membership of researchers and clinicians interested in collaboration with scientist and institutions that are pursuing cancer research in the areas of basic science, clinical care, cancer prevention and control, and education.


Cancer Center membership is available to individuals in the Rocky Mountain region who have a demonstrated, on-going interest in cancer related research and/or cancer related clinical activities that contribute to the mission of the University of Colorado Cancer Center. Applications are taken from individuals, not groups or institutions. Membership is granted at one of the following levels:  Full Member, Associate Member or Affiliate Member.

To apply, please contact Jill Penafiel at

Download the Cancer Center Objectives and Membership Guidelines​​

Membership Categories:

There are three categories of membership in the Cancer Center: Full, Associate and Affiliate.

Full membership will be considered for applicants who:

1. Are faculty at any of the Member Institutions of the Cancer Center
2. Perform basic, clinical, translational or population-based cancer research on a regular basis; and
3. Meet all of the following three criteria:
  • Perform cancer research or cancer care as the primary focus of their professional career.
  • Have on-going independent support for their cancer related activities, for example as a PI of a cancer-focused, peer-reviewed grant ; or as PI of an investigator- initiated cancer clinical study.
  • Have at least five peer-reviewed papers published within the past five years that are significantly cancer-related (in-press publications can be considered).
Associate membership will be considered for those individuals who are faculty at any of the Member Institutions of the Cancer Center and who contribute significantly to basic, clinical, translational or population-based cancer research, but do not meet the criteria for Full membership. Associate members typically are junior faculty, established faculty changing career focus, or established faculty who do not have cancer research as their main career focus. Associate members must meet the first two of the following five criteria and at least two of the last three criteria:
  • Perform cancer research, cancer care and/or cancer-related educational activities as a significant component of their professional career.
  • Have support for their cancer related activities from sponsored grants and contracts as PI or co-investigator (including pilot projects and institutional grants).
  • Have at least three peer-reviewed papers with significant cancer focus published within the past five years. 
  • Hold membership in at least one professional scientific association with a cancer focus.
  • Have presented at a scientific meeting organized by a cancer-related professional organization such as AACR, ASCO, ONS or the ACS within the last two years.

Affiliate membership will be considered for those individuals who contribute to basic, clinical, translational or population-based cancer research through a supporting role, or who otherwise contribute to the mission of the Cancer Center. Examples of supporting roles include, but are not limited to: (a) Contribution to patient accrual in cancer-related clinical trials; (b) Role as co-PI or co-investigator in cancer related grants or contracts; (c) Membership in professional and scientific associations with cancer focus; (d) Presentations in the last two years in scientific meetings organized by cancer-related associations such as AACR, ASCO, ONS, ACS; (e) contribute to furthering the Cancer Center’s mission through community engagement, education and/or philanthropic activities.

Exceptional individuals who provide significant contributions to the Cancer Center mission may be approved for each of the membership categories at the discretion of the Cancer Center Director.
Members of the University of Colorado Cancer Center have numerous opportunities to participate in research symposia, research retreats, attend special presentations, and engage in community engagement, education and training activities.  Full and Associate members will be integrated into focus groups within their Research Program. 

The Co-Program Leaders will organize periodic symposia and research meetings to focus on specific cancer-relevant research questions, fostering the development of cross-disciplinary collaborations and facilitating the advancement of translational science. 

Participation by members, in turn, leads to the development of new focus areas within existing Programs, of new Programs and of new shared resource services to complement and promote new areas of research.

Full and Associate members also receive the following benefits:
  1. Access to the Cancer Center’s shared resources at subsidized rates for support of their cancer-related research activities
  2. Access to intramural funding opportunities provided by the Cancer Center
  3. Opportunities to be considered for nomination to one of the many national cancer-specific funding opportunities that limit applications to one per institution (e.g. the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation; Samuel Waxman Foundation; Mary Kay Foundation; and the V Foundation).
  4. Opportunities to serve as a mentor in various training programs supported by the Cancer Center
  5. Opportunities to be selected as a recipient of donor directed philanthropy
  6. Access to the Cancer Center’s Administrative Office for support of:
  • Development and submission of large, multi-departmental cancer-specific grants;
  • Planning, scheduling and organization of Cancer Center endorsed activities benefiting a large contingent of the membership
  • Announcement of new research developments and clinical breakthroughs by PR and media relations professionals
  • Particular philanthropic activities supporting Cancer Center strategic goals, with dedicated development professionals to assist such fund-raising efforts.

The CU Cancer Center is an NCI-designated comprehensive cancer center.  Our ability to maintain this designation is dependent upon members’ willingness to participate actively in the research and clinical care community fostered by the Cancer Center.  To assist our efforts to continue to build upon the vibrant community of physicians, scientists, staff and community members engaged in the Cancer Center, we ask the following of our members:

  1. Participate in the Cancer Center sponsored symposia, retreats, seminars and surveys.  Your participation can impact decisions regarding the development of new focus areas in our Research Programs; new shared resource services; and the development of new funding opportunities.
  2. Provide annual lay and scientific progress reports for your projects that are funded by the Cancer Center; and continue to provide us with information regarding publications, grant submissions and awards, and any other research resource you develop as a result of the funding.  This information is used to inform both extramural sponsors and philanthropic donors of the outcomes achieved as a result of their funding support. 
  3. Acknowledge the Cancer Center Support Grant (P30CA046934) and your use of Cancer Center Shared Resources in your publications.  Our NCI designation is dependent upon this grant.  Failure by members to cite the grant in publications will, over time, undermine our NCI support and affect our designation.

“This work was supported in part by the University of Colorado Cancer Center’s ______________ Shared Resource funded by NCI grant P30CA046934.”
“Supported in part by the ________________ Shared Resource of the Colorado cancer center support grant P30CA046934.”
Following are the major objectives of the University of Colorado Cancer Center.
  1. The Cancer Center encourages and facilitates cooperation and communication among basic scientists, clinical investigators and social, psychological and other behavioral scientists, as well as between CU Cancer Center members and cancer researchers at other institutions nation-wide
  2. New Research Program areas and services are developed by the Cancer Center to complement existing cancer research and clinical resources, as well as to promote areas of new research.
  3. The Cancer Center’s Shared Resources exist for the benefit of the cancer-relevant research conducted by member investigators. The shared resources are reviewed regularly for ways to strengthen and improve their service to members, as well as to expand into new services as technologies advance.
  4. The Cancer Center strives for the highest quality of clinical care by promoting multidisciplinary diagnostic, treatment and prevention services; by demonstrating and evaluating new management techniques; and by fostering the rapid clinical application of demonstrably useful methods of cancer management and prevention.
  5. Teaching programs in pre-and post-doctoral fields related to cancer and in the allied health professions are encouraged and fostered in order to train the professional and technical personnel necessary to attack the cancer problem nationally.
  6. Active participation in Cancer Center Programs by practicing health professionals in Denver and throughout Colorado and the surrounding region is encouraged. Participation fosters an integrated, cooperative community of cancer research, treatment, prevention and control, community engagement and education activities.



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