The main objective of this training program in The Molecular Genetics of Cancer is to prepare predoctoral (4) and postdoctoral (5) trainees for careers in cancer research. The training program is based at the world renowned M. D. Anderson Cancer Center. Faculty are collegial and interactive, and belong to five departments, one clinical, with cross appointments in other clinical departments. The interests of the faculty include the study of tumor suppressors (p53, PTEN, WT1, Brca1), genetic modifiers of the cancer phenotype, inherited cancer syndromes, the DNA damage response, DNA recombination and repair, telomere biology, genomic instability, cell regulation, chromatin modification in cancers, and regulators of cell proliferation and apoptosis. The faculty use genetic and biochemical assays, animal models and human samples to understand the normal and abnormal mechanisms that govern cell proliferation and death. Trainees will choose a research mentor of their choice, and submit their applications to open training grant positions. If highly qualified, they will be selected and supported for a maximum of three years with annual review. Trainees will attend classes and receive instruction in the responsible conduct of research. They will attend seminars, journal clubs, and the annual program retreat. They will learn presentation and grant writing skills. They will be encouraged to attend and present at national meetings. The faculty and the interactive environment of MDACC and the Texas Medical Center will stimulate trainees to achieve a life long commitment to Making Cancer History".
An estimated 565,000 Americans will die of cancer this year. The complexity and heterogeneity of the cancer phenotype, the existence of multiple pathways that control cell proliferation and death suggest that cancer is an individual disease. We have much to learn.
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