The purpose of this training program is to produce independent scientists capable of translating recent advances in immunology into progress in cancer research. Support is requested for 10 trainees (7 postdoctoral fellows and 3 graduate students) per year. The curriculum for graduate students consists of coursework, a qualifying examination, and research leading to the public defense of an original thesis. A broad range of courses in cell biology, genetics, statistics, biochemistry, and molecular biology is required of all graduate students, and additional courses and research experience is provided in immunobiology, molecular immunology, immunopathoiogy, tumor immunology, and cancer biology. The Postdoctoral Program consists of focused laboratory research while maximizing exposure to broad issues of cancer research thus giving trainees experience in all aspects of the cancer problem: basic, translational, and clinical research, disease detection, management and prevention, and patient perspectives and issues. In addition, a special enrichment program consisting of guest lectures, seminars, meetings with prominent researchers, and attendance of scientific meetings is provided for trainees. The 26 training faculty are all members of both the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center and the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences and are drawn from the Departments of Immunology (13), Cancer Biology (1), Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (1), Experimental Therapeutics (2), Lymphoma (2), Melanoma Medical Oncology (3), Stem Cell Transplantation (1), Systems Biology (1), Urology (1), and Pediatrics (1). The faculty members have been selected as trainers because they have research expertise in at least one of the 5 areas covered by the training program (immunobiology, molecular immunology, immunopathoiogy, tumor immunology, cancer biology/carcinogenesis) and a sincere interest in graduate student and postdoctoral education. The graduate students and postdoctoral fellows must be U. S. citizens or permanent residents, hold a bachelor's degree or a Ph.D/M.D. from a recognized college or university, have an excellent record of academic achievement as an undergraduate or during graduate/medical school, and be committed to a research career in cancer immunobiology. Students may be supported by the training grant during years 2-5 of their graduate training. Postdocs will be supported for 2 years and possibly a third year if there is demonstrable progress and need. All of the laboratories are modern, fully equipped facilities within the University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center which is part of the Texas Medical Center, one of the world's largest centers for medical care, research, and education.
The relationship of the immune system and cancer is a long-standing interest of basic and clinical scientists. The rapid progress in the field of immunology needs to be applied to understanding the immunobiology of cancer and then translated into new strategies for the therapy or prevention of disease. The purpose of this program is, therefore, to provide research training for graduate students and postdoctoral trainees in cancer immunobiology, thus providing the next generation of scientists that focus on this important health problem.
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