The Cancer Research Training Program (CRTP) at the University of Virginia brings together faculty and trainees with a common interest in cancer biology to participate in an integrated program of cancer research and discovery. The overall objective of the CRTP is to develop a generation of cancer researchers who are facile with the newest techniques in cancer research; have a broad-based knowledge of cancer genomics and molecular drivers of cancer; and appreciate the tumor cell extrinsic, microenvironmental and immunological interactions that contribute to tumor growth and metastasis. In addition, our training program aims to develop trainees who are adept in partnering with basic scientists, translational researchers, clinical trialists, and physicians to promote discovery and improved outcomes in cancer care. In this application, we request support of 9 predoctoral and 3 postdoctoral trainees for continuation of our highly successful and long-standing training program. Fifty faculty members join the CRTP to provide a training program consisting of laboratory research, formal course work, programmatic activities, exposure to clinical/translational aspects of cancer, programming in professional development, and community outreach opportunities. Each of these components is facilitated by close interactions with the UVA Cancer Center, which provides unique opportunities for trainees to integrate their own experiences in basic cancer research with the need for improved diagnosis and treatments in cancer care. The CRTP has experienced much success over its almost 39-year history, having trained hundreds of young scientists in cancer research who now have successful careers in academia, industry, and education. As we move into the next funding period, we challenge ourselves to meet the changing landscape of cancer research by (1) offering rich and substantive research training that exposes the trainees to both the breadth and depth of modern cancer research; (2) reinvigorating our course offerings and being creative with our teaching modalities; and (3) assimilating our clinical colleagues into every component of the training program. The skills that we teach will ultimately help create a new generation of cancer researchers who have an appreciation for the current state of cancer biology, a vision for the extraordinary advances that will be accomplished in their lifetimes, and the tools to pursue research careers that will contribute to the NCI's goals of ?accelerating the rate of scientific discovery and reducing the burden of cancer.?
The Cancer Research Training Program (CRTP) described herein is designed to prepare the next generation of young investigators for successful careers in cancer research. By providing trainees with the practical skills to perform high-quality research, the foundational knowledge to cultivate a process of life-long learning, and the skills to be part of a dynamic and interactive research team, the CRTP will help to create a new generation of cancer researchers who are uniquely prepared to make inroads into understanding and treating cancer.
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