The University of Kentucky Cancer Nanotechnology Training Center (UK CNTC) will provide advanced multidisciplinary training for predoctoral students and postdoctoral fellows toward the goal of creating a new type of cancer researcher who is skilled and ready to pursue a career in cancer nanotechnology research. Nationally and internationally recognized faculty members at the University of Kentucky will collaborate to create a fertile environment for the novel exploration of nanotechnology and cancer. Expertise covers a broad multidisciplinary range of scientific areas in gastrointestinal cancer, lung cancer, gliomas, radiation medicine, surgery, cancer screening, imaging, and pharmacokinetics and dynamics. Among these faculty are 16 nanotechnology researchers in the Departments of Chemical Engineering, Materials Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Chemistry, and Pharmaceutical Sciences and 18 biomedical scientists or clinical oncologists in the Colleges of Pharmacy or Medicine. Based on existing research collaborations, we propose cancer nanotechnology projects composed of multidisciplinary focus area teams with the goal of training future leading researchers in the field of cancer nanotechnology in the following four areas: (1) early detection and diagnosis in lung, colon, and ovarian cancer;(2) treatment of gastrointestinal tumors and metastases;(3) lung cancer treatment;and (4) glioma therapy.
Specific Aim 1 is to expand the core expertise of participants in the UK CNTC through cross-disciplinary laboratory research training projects of up to two years involving innovative applications of nanotechnology to address specific unmet needs in cancer detection and therapy. Our trainees will be at the forefront of research that will be driven toward developing novel cancer therapies and diagnostic strategies based on nanotechnology. Through these activities, the trainees will obtain a detailed understanding of the molecular basis of cancer, the unresolved clinical problems in treating and diagnosing the disease, and acquire expertise in the field of nanotechnology.
In Specific Aim 2, the CNTC will provide trainees with problem-based and experiential training through seminars, workshops, short courses, clerkships, and laboratory training modules that will build their research skills and confidence as members of multi-disciplinary research teams. Each trainee will be immersed in individualized problem-based instruction and a broad multidisciplinary training through core courses, short courses, participation in seminars, undergraduate and early graduate student mentoring, and outreach activities designed to educate the public. Trainees will be guided through these programs with effective mentorship and an evaluation program (Specific Aim 3) that will assess the effectiveness of trainee progress and development. Finally, Specific Aim 4 is to highlight the accomplishments of CNTC trainees both regionally and nationally. As such, our trainees will learn to envision, articulate, and perform nanotechnology-centered research focused on developing novel solutions to the outstanding clinical problems associated with cancer.
The University of Kentucky Cancer Nanotechnology Center will provide a systematic and unique multidisciplinary training environment, focusing on laboratory hands-on research, to create a workforce capable of using nanotechnology for solving intractable cancer research problems. Trainees of the Center will be immersed in a research environment designed to take advantage of the multiple research strengths of faculty at the University of Kentucky and will emerge with a broad yet detailed knowledge of cancer diagnostics, interventions, and related nanotechnology applications including drug delivery, early detection and treatment.
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