The Department of Hematology and Medical Oncology (HMO) and the Winship Cancer Institute at Emory University proposes a T32 Translational Physician-Scientist Training Program in Oncology. This 2.5-year Training Program (including 6 months funded internally by the HMO Department, and 2 years of T32 funding support) will enable hematology/oncology fellows to acquire a strong education in basic/translational research approaches, with the ultimate goal of establishing an independent research program for each trainee. Many studies have documented the attrition of the physician-scientist pipeline, due in large part to the challenges faced in obtaining grant funding. Providing a high level of mentoring and support is necessary to nurture the development of young physician-scientists and retain them in academic institutions. The Training Program aims to (1) provide a sufficiently large mentor pool from which to select the most appropriate research topic(s) for each trainee;(2) foster a multidisciplinary approach to cancer care and patient-oriented research through interaction with basic and clinical investigators of diverse specialties; (3) provide guidance in research design, methodology and analysis that will foster the independence of developing physician-scientists in the field of translational oncology, focused on solid tumors mainly including head and neck, lung, breast, gastrointestinal and genitourinary malignancies;and (4) guide trainees through the development and submission of their first grant application(s). The Training Program will recruit 2 residents per year with 2-3 years of prior clinical training in internal medicine, a strong desire to develop basic science research skills in oncology, and a commitment to academic medicine. All trainees will initially be recruited to the existing Hematology/Oncology Fellowship Program, and will first complete 18 months of clinical requirements for the fellowship in PGY-4 and the first half of PGY-5 (to fulfill the board eligibilty requirements of the ACGME). Trainees will then undertake 2.5 years of T32 Training Program research, from the second half of PGY-5 through PGY-7, which will encompass close mentoring in research design, methodology and analysis, support in career development and grant preparation, and participation in a rigorously defined training curriculum. Training will focus on elements critical for a successful academic career, particularly progress towards conference presentations, manuscript publications, and applications for independent research funding. Through its strong commitment to the proposed Translational Physician-Scientist Training Program in Oncology, the Emory HMO Department and the Winship intend to actively contribute to training and mentoring the next generation of physician-scientist oncologists, supporting them in the early steps of their academic research careers.
Physician-scientists play a crucial role in bringing new discoveries from the laboratory to the clinic, ultimately bringing new treatment options to patients. Emory University proposes a 2.5-year training program to train young physicians in laboratory cancer research. By providing intensive research training, guided by experienced physicians, scientists and physician-scientists, this training program aims to support the next generation of physician-scientists in the early steps of their careers.