This Pediatric Cancer Epidemiology training program emanates from the University of Minnesota Department of Pediatrics and the Cancer Center. The program provides opportunities for both pre- and postdoctoral students to enhance their research training and experience in pediatric cancer epidemiology. Through the expertise of the 17 training faculty, trainees can work in a variety of research settings including molecular biology, genetics, prevention and etiology, clinical outcomes (including late effects), and exposure and behavior assessment. Strong Graduate School degree programs at the University of Minnesota in Epidemiology (PhD) and in Clinical Research (MS) offer courses in epidemiology, cancer epidemiology, biostatistics, cancer biology, genetic epidemiology, nutrition, methods, human experimental studies, and field research relevant to pediatric cancer. Further, students have opportunities for supervised research in basic biology, human and animal research, study design, analysis, and grant writing. The current training program trains one pre-doctoral graduate student and three post-doctoral students. The predoctoral trainee is formally admitted into the Graduate School Ph.D. program in Epidemiology. The postdoctoral trainees are drawn from the medical and basic sciences through national advertising, as well as from the cohort of medical fellows in the Department of Pediatrics who have completed advanced clinical training in pediatric oncology and are beginning the research component of their training. Special attention is given to recruitment of individuals from under-represented minorities. It is anticipated that two post-doctoral trainees will choose to obtain a MS in Clinical Research. Criteria for selection of both pre- and postdoctoral trainees include: strong academic performance and a career orientation toward independent research in an academic, clinical, or public health setting. Trainees who graduate from this program will have the capacity to undertake pediatric cancer epidemiologic research across a spectrum of disciplines. All trainees participate in weekly pediatric epidemiology meetings, monthly seminars, an annual retreat, and as presenters of their own research at national meetings. All trainees receive instruction in the responsible conduct of research.
Pediatric cancer is the leading cause of disease-related death in children, and rates have been significantly increasing since the 1970s, with little yet known about causes. This training program builds on the strengths of the internationally recognized pediatric cancer research program at the University of Minnesota and produces broadly educated researchers skilled in the area of pediatric cancer epidemiology.
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