This application requests continuing support for post-doctoral training in surgical oncology research for four fellows. The Vanderbilt Department of Surgery has had a continuing commitment to mentored research for both resident research fellows and junior surgical oncology research faculty. Given the rapid pace and complexity of both basic and clinical research, it is imperative to provide trainees with the requisite armamentarium of investigative skills during post-doctoral training. The establishment of both research proficiency and a pattern of mentored training are critical for the promotion of successful academic career pathways. Importantly, configured a multidisciplinary training program to allow development of investigators along basic, patient- oriented or clinical research tracks. All three of these research paradigms are considered crucial to the success of broad-based cancer related investigation. The objective of this program is to prepare surgical residents and post-doctoral fellows for investigative careers in research fields related to surgical oncology. Fellows commit at least two years to intensive training in basic, translational or clinical research through a mentored training environment necessary for the development of experience and proficiency in investigative techniques and reasoning, For those interested in basic science research training, opportunities for mentored investigation are available in the laboratories of scientists with broad interests in cancer biology. In addition to bench research training, fellows in the basic research track will participate in didactic course work as determined by the individual advisory committees. Fellows interested in patient-oriented research training will pursue a Masters of Science in Clinical Investigation (MSCI). The MSCI program combines broad didactic coursework with a mentored research experience focused on patient related material or therapeutic intervention. Finally, those interested in epidemiological or outcomes research will pursue a Masters of Public Health (MPH). The MPH program combines didactic coursework in clinical epidemiology with a mentored clinical research project. These three training tracks allow fellows to pursue pathways best suited to their career objectives.
Surgeons remain at the forefront of the care for patients with cancer. The clinical experience of surgeons give them a particular perspective on cancer. There is a need for research expertise among surgeons and those interested in surgical oncology so that these individuals are fully prepared to tackle the important future research needs in basic cancer biology, translational cancer research and cancer epidemiology.
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