This is a second competing renewal of the Cancer Control Research Training Curriculum (CCRTC) R25T grant, led by Gary Morrow, PhD, MS, of the University of Rochester. The primary aim of the two year CCRTC training program is to provide MD and PhD trainees with the tools and experience necessary to establish careers as outstanding independent investigators in cancer control and prevention research, and to support them in competing successfully for research funding. The program combines didactic and experiential training activities. Trainees take required didactic lectures, core courses, workshops, and seminars in Patient-Oriented Research, Biostatistics and Informatics Research, and Health Outcomes Research to complete a Master of Public Health or a Master of Science degree with a specialization in Clinical Investigation, Medical Statistics or Translational Research. Through engaging with the peer-reviewed research of 19 potential mentors from 11 medical center departments, an NCI- funded Community Clinical Oncology Program (CCOP) Research Base, a CTSI (Clinical Translational Sciences Institute) and SHORE (Surgical Health Outcomes Research Enterprise), trainees learn about transdisciplinary mentored research projects locally and in multiple institutions, enabling them to publish manuscripts and establish pilot data. Seventy two applicants (41 males/31 females: 22 MD/50 PhD: 15 minority) have been evaluated for our last five CCRTC classes. Twenty-one were invited for on-site interviews and 11 of the 12 who were offered positions accepted, including 2 minority applicants. We are currently in Year 10 of this R25T program. In the past 10 years, 17 of the 18 trainees who have participated in the program have obtained peer-reviewed, investigator- initiated funding, for a total to date of over $20,540,000. Trainees have received 14 Career Development awards from professional associations. Sixteen trainees have received early career awards or research honors from national and international associations. Program trainees have submitted 289 separate manuscripts.
Since it began in 2004, our R25 training program has enrolled 21 exceptional postdoctoral trainees (4 MDs and 17 PhDs) for careers in the multidisciplinary arena of cancer control research. Mentored research projects have focused on cognitive difficulties, nutrition, pain, exercise, physician communication, childhood cancer survivors, vulnerable elderly cancer patients, and health disparities in underserved populations. In this competing renewal, we propose to strengthen our training program by providing trainees with a broad range of theoretical, methodological and technical knowledge necessary to be both a successful, independent investigator and a valued collaborator in order to develop and sustain successful careers in cancer control and prevention research.
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