This is a request for continued funding to support the predoctoral Carcinogenesis Training Program at Northwestern University, which is in its 20th year and currently supports 10 students (9 plus a minority supplement). The goal of this program is to provide comprehensive, rigorous research training in cancer biology. The program serves as a focus for interdisciplinary interactions among students and faculty in tumor cell biology and is expected to play a key role in Northwestern's continued expansion during the next funding period. In addition to continuing programs in Signal Transduction, Adhesion, Motility and Angiogenesis, Viral Carcinogenesis and Tumor Therapy and Translational Studies, expansion efforts have allowed us to add new strength in Chemoprevention and to aggressively recruit in the area of Cancer Genetics. The core preceptor group, which represents 15 Northwestern University departments and divisions on the Chicago and Evanston Campuses and the Cancer Center, is well-supported by an NIH- funded research base of >$19,000,000 in direct costs. Students are appointed to the program following 11/2 years of course work and commitment to cancer research training, based on rigorous evaluation by a Selection Committee. 3-4 years of thesis research are coupled with an educational enrichment program providing training in critical thinking, presentation, the peer-review process and the responsible conduct of research. 66 students have completed the program since its inception, with 25 continuing in various stages of training. In the current period, 3 students have come from underrepresented minority groups and one of these was supported by a Minority Supplement, which allowed her early recruitment to the program. 72% of those completing the program have remained in research careers in academia/industry, with ~90% remaining in the area of cancer biology. Goals for the next period of training include continuing the strong didactic training in tumor cell biology, increasing the competitive criteria for selection of trainees based on their credentials and likelihood to remain in cancer research, enhancing efforts to recruit and retain minority students to the training program, ensuring active communication and participation among students and preceptors from both Chicago and Evanston campuses, and ongoing mentoring of current and former trainees to support them in their move toward independent careers.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Institutional National Research Service Award (T32)
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Study Section
Subcommittee G - Education (NCI)
Program Officer
Jakowlew, Sonia B
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Northwestern University at Chicago
Schools of Medicine
United States
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