Given the severe shortfall of research scientists who are capable of conducting comprehensive studies that can translate fundamental knowledge from the bench to the clinical and the community settings for the improvement of cancer prevention and control, the purpose of this research training program is to provide integrated training in an inter-disciplinary research and teaching setting at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute. Trainees will be trained in understanding the role of environmental exposures and genetic and other physiological factors in the development and progression of cancer in humans. The training program involves cross-disciplinary training courses in different tracks in the Clinical Trial Research, the Translational Research, and the Population-Based Observational and Interventional Research on cancer. Trainees will work with experienced mentors in a multiple disciplinary team conducting researches from mechanistic experiments and observational studies in populations to randomized intervention studies to test the efficacy of chemo- and immuno-preventive agents on cancer protection in humans. The mentored research will provide direct research experience to trainees in study design, methodological development, implementation of research protocol, data collection, analysis and interpretation, and manuscript preparation and publication. Trainees also will learn how to translate discoveries from pre-clinical experimental and/or observational studies into randomized intervention studies for cancer prevention. The unique training of this program will train next generation of scientists who can lead the cutting-edge translational research on cancer etiology and prevention. This training program is a joint effort of 19 preceptors who are conducting active research projects all with independent research funding in University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute (UPCI). These faculties are from the following research programs including Cancer Epidemiology, Prevention and Control;Biobehavioral Medicine in Oncology;Cancer Immunology;Cancer Bioinformatics;and Molecular Therapeutics and Drug Discovery. UPCI, a top-ranked Comprehensive Cancer Center with $92 million direct research funding in 2013, will provide trainees with cutting-edge translational research training. We propose this research training program will support two post-doctoral fellows in year 1 and 4 post-doctoral trainees in each of years 2-5. According to recent data on applicants to participating programs, we expect to have a relatively large pool of candidates who will apply to this training program given the excellence in research and training of the participating mentors and the proposed multiple disciplinary training. The progress and success of the training program will be evaluated annually by a panel of experts in directing NCI-funded training program. The career development and research activities 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 multidisciplinary settings with a broad perspective and knowledge concerning basic, epidemiologic and clinical sciences. This new generation of scientists will be competent to undertake multiple disciplinary etiologic and preventive research that translates the discoveries in pre-clinical experimental and observational studies into randomized intervention studies for Eliminating the Suffering and Death due to Cancer, the ultimate goal set forth by NCI.