The purpose of the interdisciplinary Cancer Pharmacology training program is to continue providing seven predoctoral students and three postdoctoral fellows with a training environment that did not exist at the University of Pennsylvania prior to the development of the present program. Drs. Blair (Program Director), Lee (Program Co-Director), and Penning (Program Co-Director) will provide the sustained leadership required to continue development of the Cancer Education and Career Development Program (CECDP). Major advances in the treatment of cancer patients in the next decade will result from multidisciplinary approaches in understanding of how malignant cells work at the molecular level and in designing novel therapeutic agents to disrupt these processes. Therefore, the CECDP will help fill the current deficit of individuals qualified to develop the next generation of chemotherapeutic agents. The ultimate goal of the program is to provide training in cancer pharmacology that goes from laboratory to bedside and back again. Specifically, trainees will learn how cancer pharmacology can be used to identify new targets, how small molecules are synthesized and tested against these targets, how they are used in Phase I trials, how these studies are developed into full clinical trials, and how epidemiology and pharmacogenetics can be utilized to assess efficacy and lead to the discovery of new targets. Trainees will also receive specific training in how to project quantitative measures of drug effect from proof of concept in model systems into the rational selection of dosing in humans. These goals will be accomplished through the courses and interdisciplinary research experience that are offered in the CECDP. There are thirty faculty mentors with diverse complementary expertise who belong to eight of the nine graduate groups that are involved in Biomedical Graduate Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. Mentors are grouped into three sub-programs within the CECDP: A. Cancer Etiology and Therapeutics. B. Cell and Molecular Cancer Pharmacology. C. Clinical Cancer Pharmacology. Each trainee will have two research mentors affiliated with two different sub-programs. The mentors have a very strong record of accomplishment as cancer researchers as well as superb access to different patient populations through their association with NCI-funded clinical programs. Furthermore, one of the mentors is Director of the Institute of Translation Medicine and the Clinical Translational Science Award at the University of Pennsylvania (Dr. Garret FitzGerald) and one is Division Chief, Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics, and Director of the Office of Clinical and Translational Research at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (Dr. Peter Adamson). Both of these mentors have research programs with a focus on translational therapeutics and so they provide another outstanding training resource. The Master's program in Translational Research (MTR) and new clinical leadership provided by Dr. Lee from the Division of Hematology/Oncology will provide additional translational opportunities. The MTR program will be available to trainees in addition to their conventional PhD and postdoctoral studies. Goals of the CECDP in Cancer Pharmacology will be accomplished through three specific aims.
Specific Aim 1 : To provide unique didactic experiences to trainees in the field of cancer pharmacology.
Specific Aim 2 : To provide interdisciplinary research training in cancer pharmacology to predoctoral students and postdoctoral fellows.
Specific Aim 3 : To provide predoctoral and postdoctoral researchers with training in translational medicine and cancer therapeutics.
Training Program in Cancer Pharmacology. The purpose of the interdisciplinary Cancer Pharmacology training program is to continue providing predoctoral and postdoctoral students with a training environment that did not exist at the University of Pennsylvania prior to the development of the present program. Drs. Blair (Program Director), Penning (Program Co-Director) and Lee (Program Co-Director) will provide the sustained leadership required to continue development of the Cancer Education and Career Development Program (CECDP).
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