The Department of Surgery at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis (WUSM) requests continued funding to support a training grant in surgical oncology for surgical residents who are planning careers devoted to oncology in the specialties of general, pediatric, and thoracic surgery. Additionally, we are specifically asking for two additional dedicated positions to support trainees in gynecologic oncology. This grant will support a comprehensive educational program in laboratory research in cell and developmental biology, immunobiology, molecular biology and molecular genetics/genomics. Three to five surgical residents and two gynecologic fellows will be selected annually for this research training program through a rigorous and highly competitive process. The selection committee is composed of the program director of the training grant as well as an advisory committee. The majority of the surgical oncology trainees will be from the WUSM surgical residency. Two slots per year will be for Gynecology fellows. The long-term objective of this program is to prepare surgical/gynecology trainees, through intensive educational programs and monitored experiences in investigative research to become independent scientific investigators and to acquire faculty positions in academic departments as well as to become leading physician scientists. The success of this program is attested to by the fact that of 16 residents who have completed the program over the past 10 years, ten (62.5 percent) now hold full-time faculty positions, several with peer-reviewed funding. The Department of Surgery at WUSM has approximately 45,000 nsf of laboratory research space and over $22 million of peer-reviewed annual research support plus $2.5 million of annual clinical research support. The participating faculty have grant support in excess of $45 million. Adding to this superb environment is the Siteman Cancer Center (SCC) which is an NCI designated comprehensive cancer center. The Center treats 7,000 cancer cases annually and receives approximately $130 million of annual grant support.
This grant provides surgical/gynecologic trainees with all of the training to become independent scientific investigators and to obtain faculty positions in academic departments. With this training, they are poised to become the future leading physician scientists in this field.
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