This application is for the 5-year renewal (Years 29-33) of an NRSA Institutional Research Grant for the training program in Cancer Epidemiology, Prevention, and Control at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. The program mission is to train pre-doctoral students and post-doctoral fellows to become leaders at the forefront of advancing the knowledge of a) the causes of cancer, and b) how to prevent it by providing a better understanding of cancer-related behaviors and identifying new markers for the early detection of cancer. The program goal is to create a rich and interactive environment for trainees augmented by the highly innovative, productive, and collaborative cancer research conducted by observational, basic, and clinical scientists at the Schools of Public Health and Medicine and the Kimmel Cancer Center. The program has 3 training tracks: 1) Cancer Etiology and Prevention, including translational research;2) Genetic Epidemiology of Cancer, including genomics and epigenetics;and 3) Cancer Control, including disparities, communication, and tobacco. The 6 pre- and 3 post-doctoral trainees pursue a focused program consisting of shared elements across the tracks: didactic courses on substantive and methodologic topics and research ethics;interactive information exchange;teaching, communication, grant writing experiences;pre- or post- doctoral research;and program-specific education, research, and career mentoring. The importance of developing and testing novel hypotheses and collaborating across disciplines is stressed. Via the shared elements, the trainees are exposed to current topics, such as translational research, molecular epidemiology, emerging risk factors for cancer, methodologic issues in cancer research and screening, disparities, communication, tobacco control, obesity, inflammation, and use of epidemiology in risk assessment and public policy. Nineteen established preceptors, selected based on their records of teaching, advising, and research, are responsible for primary mentoring. An additional 34 affiliated faculty provide the trainees with cutting-edge expertise in specific cancer sites, biostatistics, and laboratory-based exposure assessment. The steering committee is responsible for trainee selection and monitoring, and program refinement as population-based research on cancer evolves. Training duration is typically 4-5 years for pre- and 2 years for post-doctoral trainees. The program has a strong record of training and mentorship: the 26 pre- and 14 post-doctoral trainees appointed in the past 10 years have cancer research training and career success. From a large pool of applicants, the best possible candidates are recruited. The trainees represent diverse backgrounds;the program is the recipient of 3 CURE supplements. In summary, the training program is designed to a) provide trainees with the multidisciplinary background essential to conduct the highest caliber, state-of-the-art, collaborative, translational cancer research, b) nurture them to be innovative thinkers, c) develop their teaching and communication skills, and d) prepare them to be leaders of the nation's cancer research agenda.
The training program is directly relevant to the burden of cancer in the US and throughout the world. The mission of this program is to train pre-doctoral students and post-doctoral fellows to become leaders at the forefront of advancing the knowledge of a) the causes of cancer, including inherent and modifiable factors, and b) how to prevent cancer by providing a better understanding of cancer-related behaviors and identifying new markers for the early detection of cancer. The program prepares trainees to be the next generation of population-based researchers who will set and address the nation's cancer research agenda with the goal of reducing cancer incidence, morbidity, recurrence, and mortality, and the disparities in cancer.
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