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Carolyn Best, PhD, is the Program Operations Chief at the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI). The Program Operations division is responsible for providing end-to-end operational implementation of PCORI funding strategies, including funding opportunity development and solicitation; application intake and merit review; contract negotiation, execution, oversight, and closeout; funding policy development and compliance; peer review of final research outcomes; and award systems management. 

Best previously served as director of research for the American Urological Association, where she supported the breadth of urologic research through funding, advocacy, and education. Her focus was advancing basic through clinical research; supporting investigators from early career through established; and increasing broad support for urologic research through collaborative relationships with federal and nonfederal funding agencies, patient advocacy groups, subspecialty societies, and other stakeholders. She received the Award for Research Excellence from the Society for Basic Urologic Research and the Society of Women in Urology. 

Previously, she was program manager of the Department of Defense Prostate Cancer Research Program of the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs, where she oversaw the full funding life cycle of vision setting, investment strategies, application solicitation and receipt, peer and programmatic review, and award management. She received the Department of the Army Commander’s Award for Civilian Service and the Prostate Cancer Foundation’s Award for Exemplary Public Service and Outstanding Leadership.  

Best obtained a PhD in experimental pathology from the University of Maryland, Baltimore, and subsequently trained at the National Cancer Institute in the Laboratory of Pathology, Laboratory of Biosystems and Cancer, and the Molecular Therapeutics Program. She was the inaugural recipient of the Sallie Rosen Kaplan Fellowship for Women Scientists in Cancer Research. 

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