This application seeks funding of a new training program in Cancer Biology at the University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMMS) that will support six post-doctoral and two pre-doctoral trainees who are committed to careers in cancer research. The program will be based in the Department of Cancer Biology at UMMS but it will include faculty from multiple basic science and clinical departments. Faculty have been selected for participation in this program based on their scientific achievements and track record of funding in cancer research, appreciation for translational cancer research and their experience in mentoring trainees. A major intent of this inter-departmental program is to provide the trainees, most of whom will be basic scientists, with an appreciation for translational cancer research and with the ability to interact effectively with clinicians that will influence and guide their careers. Three key developments substantiate the commitment of UMMS to cancer and justify our request for a training program. The medical school established a Department of Cancer Biology in 2002 and recruited Dr. Dario Altieri from Yale to be its founding Chair. Second, Dr. Altieri was also named Director of the UMass Cancer Center and charged with expanding and enhancing the impact of this center. Lastly, a new graduate program in cancer biology was formed that is inter-departmental under the auspices of the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. As will be discussed in more detail below, all three of these endeavors are closely integrated. The Department of Cancer Biology is a cornerstone of the Cancer Center, and the graduate program is linked to the programs of the Cancer Center. The overarching theme of these endeavors is translational cancer research. More specifically, their central mission is to harness the extraordinary basic science enterprise that exists at UMMS to the clinical management of human cancers and, conversely, to enable clinical problems to influence and guide basic science. In essence, these are the defining principles of translational research. This approach and the infrastructure that has resulted from its implementation provide an outstanding environment for the training of graduate students and post-doctoral fellows. Indeed, the proposed training program is a critical component of our cancer mission and it is predicated on our philosophy of translational and inter-departmental cancer research.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Institutional National Research Service Award (T32)
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Study Section
Subcommittee G - Education (NCI)
Program Officer
Damico, Mark W
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University of Massachusetts Medical School Worcester
Schools of Medicine
United States
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