Specific Goals and Objectives Since funding of the CCNY-MSKCC U54 in 2008, we have continued to develop approaches to engage and mentor students in cancer research. Towards this end, we have provided undergraduate and graduate students with hands-on research experiences, developed cancer related curricula and have provided professional socialization and mentorship for students appropriate to their academic level and career interests. The majority of students at CCNY, especially those from underrepresented minority communities, come from socioeconomically disadvantaged families. Many of our students come from first generation immigrant families. There are immense competing demands on these students that may prevent them from choosing research careers. Our program is designed to provide opportunities for students such as these to successfully conduct competitive biomedical research at CCNY and/or MSKCC, and to provide mentorship and guidance towards career decisions. Through our planning process, we have identified several priority areas to help prepare students for their long-term research career goals. We have hired several faculty members for the Partnership to expand our transdisciplinary research focus that have been integrated into our training efforts. In this competitive renewal, we plan to recruit additional faculty who will enhance our translational focus in research and training. Our overall goals are: 1) To increase the number of competitively trained, underrepresented minority students who enroll in and complete MD, PhD or MD/PhD programs and, specifically, 2) To increase the numbers of these students who pursue cancer-related research careers. We will implement these goals through the engagement of both undergraduate and graduate students by: 1 Providing experiential activities and opportunities, support services and Partnership activities to improve and increase students' engagement and performance in cancer research related areas and professions. 2 Providing academic counseling, advisement and mentoring to students to ensure that they are aware of the opportunities and prerequisites for careers in cancer research. 3 Providing translational research experiences (basic sciences; engineering; behavioral; clinical; community-based) for each student prior to graduation. 4 Developing and implementing an evaluation plan to measure the results of all program activities and the utilization of all resources. 5 Development and submission of proposals aimed to provide sustainability of our training initiatives, such as R25 mechanisms. Our trainees consist of undergraduate and graduates students who will be selected to be in our formalized training opportunities as well as students who are working with research teams that have U54 funded projects. We have developed several research training and career development opportunities for all U54 trainees: 1) Formalized mentored research training; 2) A year-long seminar series that includes research talks and presentations on postgraduate training opportunities at prominent research institutions; 3) Training in Responsible Conduct in Research; 4) Curriculum that includes topics in Cancer Biology, Cancer Health Disparities and Translational Cancer Research (nanotechnology, bioengineering and biospecimen procurement and characterization); 5) Professional Career Development Workshops. These opportunities are open to all U54 trainees. Through these experiences, trainees will learn the fundamentals of conceptualizing scientific questions, research design and procedures, data analysis and interpretation, writing of scientific manuscripts, and preparation of scientific presentations. We will continue to track undergraduate and graduate student participation in the Training and Career Development Core and their post-graduation career paths. As documented below, we already have had success in meeting our overall goals. With continued U54 support, we will have the capacity to make our training activities and programs a more visible and attractive option for trainees at various academic levels. We will also be poised to be more competitive to successfully obtain external funding to ensure sustainability of our training efforts and not be primarily tied to U54 funding. In addition to the Partnership curriculum that has been established at CCNY, we will plan new courses with the U54 PCORE (Partnership Community Outreach, Research, and Education Core) so that trainees will have a didactic platform in translational cancer health disparities. We will also continue to provide training opportunities and laboratory placement options to engage students and support them as they begin to define their own career paths in cancer research. Finally, we will continue to provide them with career development activities within the year-long Partnership Undergraduate Research Training (PURT) Seminar Series, as well as through professional skills enhancement workshops. Although the predominant focus of the CCNY-MSKCC Training CORE is matriculated CCNY undergraduates and graduates, our Partnership has developed programs to introduce high school students to careers in cancer as well as supportive interventions to foster successful transition from high school to college and from college to postgraduate studies. Collectively, these activities dovetail with other components of our training endeavors to form a seamless continuum of support for students interested in research careers. The Partnership's IAC will continually review and improve our training activities to better meet student needs. As discussed below, we will continue to conduct systematic evaluations of undergraduate student participation, including student surveys and focus groups. In addition, the IAC will work to integrate our trainees into our collaborative research projects and into the Partnership Community Outreach, Research, Education Core, through mentored placements, special lectures, and service learning opportunities.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Specialized Center--Cooperative Agreements (U54)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZCA1)
Program Officer
Wali, Anil
Project Start
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Budget End
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Fiscal Year
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Sloan-Kettering Institute for Cancer Research
New York
United States
Zip Code
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