The purpose of this research training program is to provide integrated training in an interdisciplinary research and teaching setting. The program is directed toward providing opportunities for both predoctoral students and postdoctoral fellows to enhance their research training and experience in cancer etiology and prevention with an emphasis on the role of dietary factors on cancer development and protection. Trainees will be trained in understanding the role of genetically determined factors in modifying the effect of dietary factors on cancer development. Trainees will directly work with experienced mentors in a variety of research settings from the basic mechanistic studies in laboratory, to observational studies in populations, to clinical trials to test the effectiveness of food (or dietary agents) on cancer protection. The training program involves core courses in cancer epidemiology, nutrition, cancer biology, genetic and molecular epidemiology, biostatistics, and tutorials on research design, laboratory methods, and human and animal experimental studies. In addition, trainees will be required to have cross-disciplinary training in a second field by completion of a training program specifically tailored to the individual needs. This training program is a joint effort between the Division of Epidemiology and Community Health and the Nutrition Graduate Program. The participating faculty mentors are active members of the Epidemiology and/or Nutrition Graduate Programs who are currently conducting multiple funded studies investigating the role of diet or dietary constituents in cancer development and protection. Given the lack of such a program in the upper Midwest region of the United States, this training program is unique suited and highly needed. We propose this research training grant will support 3 predoctoral students and 3 postdoctoral fellows in year 1 and 4 predoctoral and 4 postdoctoral trainees in each of years 2-5. According to recent data on applicants to our Epidemiology and/or Nutrition Graduate Program, we will expect to have a relatively large pool of potential trainees who will apply to this training program given the excellence in research and teaching of participating faculty mentors and the proposed multidisciplinary training approach. The progress and success of the training program will be evaluated annually by a panel of experts in directing NCI-funded training programs. The career development and research activity of trainees will be closely followed up and tracked during the 10 years post-training.
This training program will create a new generation of researchers superbly trained in two primary disciplines: epidemiology and nutritional science with deep understanding of cancer biology and genetics. This new generation of scientists will be competent to undertake multidisciplinary etiologic and preventive research on cancer and significantly advance our knowledge on Eliminating the Suffering and Death due to Cancer, the ultimate goal set forth by the National Cancer Institute (NCI).
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