This predoctoral and postdoctoral training program emphasizes bench to bedside research encompassing state-of-the-art areas of cancer research. Along with training in the fundamentals of cancer research and sound scientific theory, students and postdoctoral fellows will be trained in many fundamental areas of cancer research including, drug discovery using high throughput chemical and genetic screens to define cellular networks, signal transduction pathways, DNA damage and repair responses, and nanomedicine-targeted therapeutic drug delivery using cell and animal molecular imaging. The problem of cancer in the 21st century remains a national priority, and as such, offers a substantive long-term career opportunity for the training of predoctoral and postdoctoral students. The goals of our training program are to (a) train top-quality scientists capable of conducting independent cancer research;(b) foster the intellectual, technical, and communication skills required to succeed in the academic or industrial arenas of today and in the future;and (c) provide an understanding of the basic, public health, and clinical problems of human cancer. The ability of this training grant to bridge an existing outstanding foundation of Faculty in Basic Science with our Cancer Biology and Therapy Programs in the Harold Simmons NCI Designated Cancer Center, distinguishes it from a standardized general graduate and post-graduate educational program. We have 43 committed Faculty Trainers representing 24 different Departments and Centers at UT Southwestern. We have assembled a dedicated group of Steering Committee members, along with Administrative Support and both intellectual and financial support from the Director of the Cancer Center. We have an integrated plan for the proposed Cancer Training Program for both predoctoral and postdoctoral trainees that details all key steps in cancer education and training, including biomedical ethics, the responsible conduct of science, biostatistics, bioinformatics, and data sharing. We have a program specific plan for recruiting and retaining a geographically broad range of predoctoral and postdoctoral applicants as well as underrepresented diversity trainees. We have expanded and implemented our cancer didactic and journal oriented courses, both basic and translational. Our domestic eligible predoctoral and postdoctoral applicant pool has almost doubled during the last 4 years and our Faculty Trainer pool has increased by approximately 50%.
This T32 renewal application describes a comprehensive recruitment, training and retention program that combines a strong basic science curriculum with a strong translational cancer focus that distinguishes it from other training programs. Our goals are to train top-quality scientists capable of conducting independent cancer research;foster the intellectual, technical and communication skills required to succeed in the academic or industrial arenas of today and in the future;and to provide an understanding of the basic, public health, and clinical problems of human cancer. During our first review period 50% of all appointees to this T32 have been diversity trainees, our Cancer Biology Program has been fully approved by the Texas Higher Educational Board, UT Southwestern has become a NCI Designated Cancer Center, we have increased our cancer related funding almost 5-fold, and we have increased our student and postdoctoral T32 eligible trainees over 3-fold.
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