Awareness • Early Detection • Treatment • Research • Survivorship

Mayo Clinic Lung SPORE Retreat

Rochester, MN. Team Draft is off to the Mayo Clinic to participate in a retreat for Patient Advocates as a part of the highly competitive NCI Lung SPORE grant that the National Cancer Institute funds every year to select cancer institutes.


The National Cancer Institute (NCI) established the Specialized Programs of Research Excellence (SPORE) in 1992 to promote interdisciplinary research and to help basic research findings move quickly from the laboratory to the patient. To earn a highly competitive NCI SPORE grant, institutions must demonstrate a high degree of collaboration between first-rate scientists and clinicians and show excellence in translational research projects.


The Mayo Clinic Cancer Center’s SPOREs are structurally based on the close interaction and collaboration of clinical department members who work with patients in each of the disease areas, as well as researchers and physicians who specialize in biochemistry and molecular biology, immunology, pharmacology, laboratory medicine and pathology, and health sciences research.


The objective of the Cancer Center SPOREs is to enhance understanding of the biology of the specific cancers each program addresses and to translate this information into clinical application. This objective is accomplished by coordinating interdependent, cooperative research projects within the SPOREs. The Cancer Center SPOREs also offer unique opportunities for career development for young researchers, with a special program for researchers to explore innovative ideas that have untapped potential.


Team Draft’s Co- Founder and CEO, Chris Draft, has been invited to be a Patient Advocate for the Mayo Clinic’s SPORE Grant application. As a patient advocate, Mr. Draft will be advising the Mayo Clinic Team in the successful preparation of the grant as well as assisting the team in the progress and funding decisions.


While attending the SPORE retreat, Team Draft will also be meeting with Lung Cancer Survivor and advocate, Linda Wortman. Many of you might recognize Linda through our lung cancer survivor series videos. Linda, a retired flight attendant, was diagnosed with lung cancer 5 years ago by doctors at the Mayo Clinic.

You can read more about Linda’s story and view Team Draft’s Survivor Series video here: