This is a revised application from the William Dameshek Division of Hematology/Oncology at Tufts Medical Center for competitive renewal of our long-standing training grant, T32 CA09429, entitled "Research Training in Oncology". The long-term objective of the application has not changed, which is to continue the training and mentoring of physicians in the Hematology/Oncology Division Fellowship Program in basic and translational cancer science, in order to prepare them for independent careers in academic hematology/oncology. The program is based in the Division of Hematology/Oncology at Tufts Medical Center (Tufts MC), the principal teaching hospital for Tufts University School of Medicine (TUSM). The training program is a highly structured research experience that is centered around laboratory investigation within the research group of a faculty mentor. The laboratory component is complimented by formal coursework, other didactic training, and participation in seminars, workshops, and meetings. The progress of each trainee is closely monitored by a research committee. The Program currently has 26 research faculty mentors drawn from members of the Division and from other clinical and basic science departments at Tufts MC and TUSM, a significant increase from 19 Program faculty in the last competitive renewal in 2002. This reflects a new emphasis on cancer in the strategic plans of Tufts MC and TUSM, leading to the establishment of the Molecular Oncology Research Institute, and a major institutional effort to obtain National Cancer Institute Comprehensive Cancer Center designation for the Tufts Medical Center Cancer Center. The Program faculty mentors represent a major strength of the application, and are carefully selected on the basis of their training record and for their specific research interests in neoplasia, which span the spectrum from oncogenes and tumor suppressors, signal transduction, cell cycle regulation and apoptosis, angiogenesis and metastasis, animal models of hematologic malignancies and solid tumors, and preclinical testing of molecularly targeted cancer therapeutics. This training Program has been highly successful in preparing our fellows for careers in academic oncology. Former trainees now head major departments in academia and in NCI designated cancer centers, are on faculty at academic institutions in the US and elsewhere, and hold senior management positions in the oncology pharmaceutical field.
The treatment of cancer has been revolutionized over the past ten years through the development of drugs that specifically target cancer cells. The United States has a great need for cancer doctors who work at the interface between cancer patients and experimental treatments, and who can discover and apply the next generation of therapies. This grant application will support the training of such physicians at Tufts Medical Center, continuing a program that has generated leaders in this field for more than a quarter century.
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