More than 1.4 million new cancer cases are expected in 2009. Despite continuing improvements in treatment and prolonged survival, more than half a million Americans will die from cancer this year. Indeed, cancer accounts for one quarter of all deaths in the United States. Because lifestyle and environmental influences account for a substantial portion of the cancer burden, the importance of efforts in cancer prevention and control is increasingly recognized. In fact, the National Cancer Institute has noted the critical need to develop a cadre of highly trained research scientists with the necessary interdisciplinary skills to effectively and efficiently address behavioral factors in cancer prevention and control. The achievements of our graduates over the past decade reflect the success and the overall high quality of our training program in meeting NCI training goals. The successes of our past fellows include: 1) publishing at least two peer-reviewed research reports while in our program;2) obtaining full-time cancer prevention and control research positions at academic institutions (67% had done so);3) holding senior level academic positions with multiple R-01 grants (five graduates from the first funding cycle -now out of the program more than 5 years);4) receiving NCI career awards (seven of our graduates);and 5) 100% of our minority graduates now hold faculty appointments at academic institutions where they are engaged in cancer prevention and control research. The goal of the proposed training program is to foster the development of cancer prevention and control researchers through an intensive postdoctoral training program.
The Specific Aims are: 1) To provide postdoctoral fellows a specialized curriculum for education in cancer prevention and control, integrating behavioral, medical, biological, epidemiological, and community perspectives. 2) To teach postdoctoral fellows interdisciplinary research approaches in cancer prevention and control through hands-on participation in ongoing extramurally-funded research programs. 3) To foster the development of independent research careers in cancer prevention and control among postdoctoral fellows through both formal instruction and direct experience with writing research papers and grant applications with the guidance of their research mentoring team.
Cancer is, and will continue to be, one of our greatest national health issues. Researchers trained in cancer prevention and control are a key element in combating both the incidence of and suffering associated with cancer. To that end, we propose to continue our successful postdoctoral training program to produce the next generation of independent cancer prevention and control researchers.
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