This proposal requests funds for continued support of our comprehensive training program in molecular oncology and immunology. We request support to training 5 predoctoral and 10 postdoctoral fellows (PhD, MD or MD/PhD) in the integrated discipline of molecular oncology and immunology. Training focuses a combined education in this interdisciplinary area, to provide trainees with a better understanding of the regulatory mechanisms involved in cellular transformation, growth control, tumor initiation and progression, and immunological responses. A particular focus of the program is on translational approaches to improved cancer diagnosis and treatment. Cross-fertilization of these disciplines allows development of entirely new approaches to study both proto-oncogenes and immunologically relevant cells and tissues in their normal state as well as in neoplastic situations, fostering the development of translational research in cancer. The unique aspects of this program are that trainees become proficient in the basics of both immunology and molecular oncology;the students receive a significant exposure to cancer research in a clinical setting;the students have the opportunity for in-depth research on a cancer related project;the trainees become proficient in critical evaluation of the current literature, analysis of experimental data, and presentation of the results of research;and all trainees are educated in the responsible conduct of research. Thirty-nine faculty members from the Departments of Pathology, Cell Biology, Biochemistry, Pharmacology, Medicine, Pediatrics, Urology, Radiation Oncology, Dermatology, Radiology and Microbiology participate as primary mentors in this program, and they are supplemented with a committed set of clinician-educators as Associate Faculty. The program is under the aegis of the Sackler Institute for Basic Medical Sciences and the New York University Cancer Institute and makes full use of the extensive basic and clinical cancer research infrastructure of New York University School of Medicine to intimately involve trainees in both the practical and the intellectual rigors of cutting-edge cancer research.
The importance of actively recruiting the brightest minds into careers in cancer research and providing them with rigorous training in both fundamentals and practical approaches cannot be overestimated. Cancer incidence increases with the age of the population and will be a growing public health problem until comprehensive cures can be obtained, requiring a new cadre of investigators whose training is the purpose of this program.
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