Funding is requested to prepare individuals for research careers in cancer-related immunology and lymphocyte transformation in an ongoing training program established about 30 years ago. Pre-doctoral trainees with strong motivation to enter cancer-related research careers who have completed their course work will be supported while they perform their thesis research to fulfill PhD degree requirements at the University of Pennsylvania. Post-doctoral trainees will undertake laboratory research training in the laboratory of a primary trainer with a research program in cancer-related research. This training program includes basic lecture courses in immunology and related disciplines, advanced seminar courses in various aspects of cancer immunology, cancer biology and bioethics, seminars from visiting scientists and PENN faculty, research conferences, workshops and retreats. Programs developed specifically for our trainees include a training grant retreat, a tumor immunology course, a lymphocyte development course, a journal club, and a visiting scholar/seminar program. Trainees, 5 predoctoral fellows and 8 postdoctoral fellows (M.D., Ph.D., or D.V.M.), are located in the research laboratories of the participating faculty. The major sites for cancer-related training in the University of Pennsylvania community are the Wistar Institute, the Departments of Medicine, Microbiology, Hematology/Oncology, Cancer Biology, Pathology &Lab Medicine, and the School of Veterinary Medicine. The training program is an integral component of the Cancer Center in the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. Candidates considered as trainees, regardless of the level at which they enter, are expected to meet high standards of competence, motivation and perseverance, and have a commitment to a research career in cancer-related immunology. Predoctoral trainees are selected from the BGS pool, after they have determined their thesis laboratory, to ensure their interest in cancer-related immunology. Post-doctoral trainees are selected competitively based on a national search. Recruitment of qualified, under-represented minorities takes precedence in this endeavor.
This program provides training to develop future leaders in cancer research. As a catalyst for developing the next generation of principal investigators, this training program will impact directly on improving cancer treatment, decreasing costs, and most importantly, improving the lives of cancer patients, all of which are directly relevant to public health.
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