This program supports research training at the pre-doctoral and post-doctoral levels in radiation biology, medical physics and imaging relevant to radiation oncology. The program (1 predoctoral, 4 postdoctoral students) consists of 3 years support for post-doctoral students and 2-3 years for graduate students (the first 2 years are covered by the University). Pre-doctoral candidates are selected from interested MD/PHD students and graduate students in the VCU Medical Physics PHD program. Post-doctoral candidates are recruited from Radiation Oncology and Radiology residents with an interest in translational research and from individuals identified by normal recruitment mechanisms with interests in radiation biology and physics as applied to radiation oncology. There are 11 faculty preceptors with NIH funding in medical physics, imaging and cellular biology. Students are introduced to general aspects of cancer and radiation biology through lecture series and in formal courses offered in the Department, the basic science departments and at the NCI designated Massey Cancer Center. Students take a course in scientific ethics. Training in radiological physics includes formal courses in dosimetry, diagnostic imaging and instrumentation, and mentored research in intensity modulated radiotherapy, brachytherapy and diagnostic imaging. For biology students, mentored research in modern radiobiology includes DNA repair mechanisms, radiation-induced signal transduction mechanisms, and reactive oxygen/nitrogen biology. An emphasis in training is on the translational aspects of their research and this is accomplished through the strong translational research program in the Department of Radiation Oncology at VCU including Phase I gene therapy trials and courses in biostatistics focused on clinical and animal trials. The NIH-funded medical physics grants are translational in nature. The Department's Program Project Grant emphasizes modern molecular biological approaches to identifying targets for radiosensitization and validating these targets in vivo in animal studies. Bringing the results from research to applications in the clinic (""""""""bench to bedside"""""""") is a major goal of the National Cancer Institute. To achieve this goal requires that the scientists and physicians alike are adequately trained in translational research. The purpose of this program is to provide research training in radiation oncology with an emphasis on the translational aspects for both physician and scientist.

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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Virginia Commonwealth University
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United States
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Rabender, Christopher S; Alam, Asim; Sundaresan, Gobalakrishnan et al. (2015) The Role of Nitric Oxide Synthase Uncoupling in Tumor Progression. Mol Cancer Res 13:1034-43
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