The current rapid pace of scientific discovery in cancer research, particularly at the cellular, genomic, and molecular levels, offers unprecedented opportunities for rapid clinical application of basic scientific findings. This progress will be optimized by providing rigorous basic and clinical research training to a select group of surgical oncologists who are already directed towards academic leadership.
The Specific Aim of this program is to provide formal training in scientific thought and technique to this highly select group of individuals. A total of six training slots are competitively awarded to trainees pursuing highly sought-after subspecialty fellowship training Surgical Oncology, as well as General Surgery residents committed to careers in cancer research. The selection process will identify and match the most qualified applicant, without regard to whether they are an internal or an external candidate. Trainees will elect to enter either the Laboratory Research Track or the Clinical Research Track. Each fellow will be guided to choose a senior preceptor/mentor from our list of participating faculty, all of whom have demonstrated an outstanding record of achievement in either laboratory or clinical cancer research, as well as an established record of successful trainee mentorship. The training period is uninterrupted by clinical duties, and includes formal training in research ethics as well as additional mandatory course work tailored to individual interests and capabilities. All trainees are assigned an Individual Fellowship Committee charged with critiquing the trainee's research, monitoring long-term progress towards an independent investigative career, and aiding in the selection of appropriate course work. For Clinical Research Track trainees, the research training environment includes the Graduate Training Program in Clinical Investigation, in which either Masters or PhD programs may be pursued. The program has achieved outstanding success in the recruitment of underrepresented minorities, owing to outstanding role models and broad representation of women and minorities among our clinical trainees, as well as additional strategies outlined in this proposal. In this manner, the program is designed to generate a highly selected group of academic Surgical Oncologists who will develop original and significant research programs and provide strong leadership within the cancer research community.
This application seeks ongoing funding for our T32 training program, Clinical and Laboratory Research Training for Surgical Oncologists, currently completing its fourth year of funding. The program provides sophisticated clinical and research training to highly selected Surgical Oncology residents and fellows, preparing them for leadership roles in academic surgical oncology.
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