The Big Ten universities that normally compete against each other in athletics have joined together to tackle cancer. In June 2013, the schools kicked off the Big Ten Cancer Research Consortium in an effort to conduct collaborative oncology trials that tap into the scientific and clinical expertise of their universities.

The consortium will enable the development of clinical trials linked to molecular diagnostics, which will illuminate why cancers grow and what can be done to stop them. The new alliance draws on the strength of each research infrastructure at individual member universities.

Consortium founders hope to create a team research culture in which existing leaders in cancer research will mentor young investigators, enabling junior faculty and fellows to write, conduct, and complete trials. That process does not usually occur at a single institution or on a national level for young investigators.

The Indianapolis-based Hoosier Oncology Group will serve as administrative headquarters for the consortium.