This training program seeks to address two issues (1) In spite of all of the research advances in cancer biology and application of these discoveries to the clinic, cancer therapies have had limited success in prolonging life. Engineering approaches have begun to show promise, but there is a dearth of investigators who are trained in both cancer research and engineering/materials science. (2) Current PhD and postdoctoral training in cancer research focuses on preparing trainees to be independent researchers, but it doesn't provide a comprehensive set of skills for young scientists who, when starting their careers in academia, will be working closely with small/startup pharmaceutical or device companies or who may even work in a small firm before reentering academia. There is a synergy in addressing both issues since young scientists with cross training in nanotechnology and cancer biology are well positioned to work in collaboration with or work in small pharmaceutical or medical device companies focused on cancer. The proposed program will provide trainees with a balanced combination of (a) a comprehensive cancer biology, engineering, and entrepreneurship didactic training, (b) laboratory experience dual-mentored by a basic science cancer researcher and clinical/translational cancer faculty, and (c) practical skills learned by having the trainees work with small business entrepreneurs directly and/or prepare and defend research proposals. There will be two training tracks: one for trainees who plan to initially work in startup companies and one for trainees who plan to initially work in academia.
This T32 program will provide predoctoral and postdoctoral scholars with cross training in nanotechnology and cancer biology to position them to work in academia in collaboration with entrepreneurial companies or to start their career directly in small pharmaceutical or medical device companies focused on cancer. The proposed program will provide trainees with a balanced combination of (a) a comprehensive cancer biology, engineering, and entrepreneurship didactic training, (b) laboratory experience dual-mentored by a basic science cancer researcher and clinical/translational cancer faculty, and (c) practical skills learned by having the trainees prepare and defend research proposals and/or work directly with small business entrepreneurs.
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