This application requests continued support for a training program in Cancer Biology and Molecular Therapeutics that was begun in 1990. The program trains predoctoral and postdoctoral fellows in the fundamentals of cancer research by participation in didactic courses, seminars, discussion groups and performance of laboratory-based research. The training program is integrated into the research programs of the Morris Cotton Cancer Center, a National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center, thereby enhancing exposure to many facets of the disease. This is a multidisciplinary program drawing together 20 faculty with appointments in 7 different academic programs. The faculty have recently been brought together in a new Cancer Biology graduate program under an umbrella Program in Experimental and Molecular Medicine (PEMM). Predoctoral students are enrolled in the PEMM program in year 1 and then select one of five themes in which they undertake their thesis research, journal clubs and seminars. Students who select Cancer Biology then become the responsibility of the Cancer Biology Graduate Program for the remainder of their training. Required didactic work includes courses in Cancer Biology, Oncogenomics, and the Ethical Conduct of Research. Currently there are 43 PhD or MD/PhD students in the laboratories of the training faculty. Students are recruited to the Training Grant after they have completed one or more years in the graduate program, and have selected a faculty mentor. This allows their performance in first year classes and research rotations to be used as evidence of their potential to succeed in the PhD program. Postdoctoral trainees are engaged in fulltime research under the mentorship of a faculty adviser, but have their research experience broadened by regular interactions with other faculty and fellows through conferences, seminars and programmatic activities. There are currently 30 postdoctoral trainees in the laboratories of the faculty. Training grant funds are used to facilitate recruitment of postdoctoral trainees, who then are encouraged to obtain alternate extramural funding, thereby enhancing the ability of the program to recruit additional trainees. This mechanism also facilitates the recruitment of minority applicants as there is a more frequent turnover of positions, and hence funds can be assigned to any qualified minority as soon as identified. This training program has had an outstanding record of achievement since its inception, and this will be further strengthened by the focused training under the new Cancer Biology Graduate Program. This new direction for the program was achieved in major part by the established track record of this training program, and as a consequence we are requesting continued support at the current level of training positions.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Institutional National Research Service Award (T32)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZCA1-RTRB-A (M1))
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Damico, Mark W
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Dartmouth College
Schools of Medicine
United States
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