This long-standing training program, currently in its 34th year of NRSA support, is centered on the educational and research functions of the Molecular Pharmacology and Cancer Therapeutics (MPCT) Graduate Program at the Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI). The MPCT Program and this NRSA have traditionally focused solely on the training of predoctoral students. Doctoral degrees are awarded through the Roswell Park Graduate Division, University at Buffalo (UB), State University of New York. The MPCT Program reflects the activities of 25 senior faculty, most in the Department of Pharmacology &Therapeutics at RPCI. Program faculty have diverse backgrounds and research interests with a common focus on exploiting recent advances in the molecular characterization of cancer for the development of new therapeutic approaches. Trainees are exposed to cutting edge research at each stage of the cancer drug development process, from the laboratory bench to the hospital bedside. The MPCT program is unique because it provides trainees with a broad perspective on cancer related issues including cancer incidence and survival, the spectrum of scientific approaches to cancer, the importance of collaborations between basic and clinical researchers, and the realities of patient care. This is accomplished by integrating a rigorous Ph.D. academic program with the operations of a world-renowned, NCI-designated, Comprehensive Cancer Center. Predoctoral trainees come to the MPCT program with Bachelor's or Master's degrees from excellent national and international academic institutions. Alumni of the Program have successfully initiated cancer research related careers, many of them becoming leaders in their field. This application requests support for 5 predoctoral trainees per year, the same number supported during the current funding period. This NRSA is essential for the continuing viability of the MPCT program, for the continuation of current training initiatives provided by the Program, and for the development of new training and career development opportunities for our predoctoral students.
Predoctoral Training provided by the MPCT Program is directly relevant to public health. The MPCT Program's mission is to train the next generation of scientists with expertise in the development of therapies for the treatment of cancer. Cancer remains a serious public heath problem in the U.S. and the world. As there is no obvious end to this problem in sight, there remains a critical need for such training.
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