This program aims to draw together the expertise of a select group of outstanding basic cancer researcher mentors at the University of Wisconsin, with local opportunities for exposure to translational medicine, to create and formalize a program for post-doctoral training in basic cancer research. The McArdle Laboratory for Cancer Research has a long and remarkable history for innovation and discovery in cancer biology, and is an appropriate academic and administrative home for a training program. The UW Carbone Comprehensive Cancer Center (UWCCCC) was one of the first NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers and has received continuous CCSG support for the past 36 years. Together, they constitute an unparalleled training environment, with a reputation for commitment to the education of young scientists. The trainer group (26 scientists from 13 departments) is outstanding;these faculty members have trained 65 academic professors, 50 professional scientists, 39 pharmaceutical industry scientists, a journal editor and 19 clinical scientists. They have excellent funding track records (this group is supported by $14m total, and $8m dedicated cancer research funding this year). The research focus of this group is diverse, though they share a cancer emphasis. Model systems include breast, prostate, skin, head and neck, colorectal, liver and hematopoietic tumors, and their topics include genetic susceptibility, signaling pathways, the role of metabolism, tumor microenvironment, epigenetic effects, collaborating genetic factors, immune regulation, DNA damage, and the development of microfluidic technologies that enable breakthroughs of culture technique and circulating cell capture. The program will be led by Dr. Alexander (a breast cancer researcher, Era of Hope Scholar in the DOD Breast Cancer Research Program), with the assistance of Dr. Shull (Director of the McArdle Laboratory and Associate Director of the UWCCCC). Oversight is shared between members of a Program Committee, drawn together to represent viewpoints from basic, clinical and translational faculty members. The goal of this new Training Program is three-fold, 1) to provide more rigorous support of post-doctoral candidates during key phases of their career development, 2) to promote recruiting activities that focus on minority and under-served communities, and 3) to use the mentoring committee and other shared training responsibilities to catalyze discussion and scientific interaction between the research and clinical faculties. The scientific benefits of participation in the training program extends not only to the trainees funded by the training grant, but also to the other post-doctoral and pre- doctoral trainees within the participating laboratories, generating added value for this training program plan. In summary, this program will be unique on this campus for providing programmatic support for outstanding young scientists training in cancer biology, and for facilitating the translational goals of the Federal Cancer Research program, by engaging these trainees with the clinical faculty.
This application is for support of a formalized post-doctoral training program in cancer biology at the University of Wisconsin, to include opportunities for training in basic research and translational, clinical medicine. Post-doctoral mentors have been recruited from the membership of the University of Wisconsin Carbone Comprehensive Cancer Center who have a remarkable history of training, discovery and accomplishment. This program will generate opportunities for promoting career development, for enhancing the diversity of the trainee group, and for catalyzing research discussion between our basic and clinical faculties.
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