The education and training component of the proposed PS-OC will focus on two specific audiences: graduate students/postdoctorates from the physical sciences and those from the medical sciences. To translate the research of the center into a deeper understanding of cancer that will have practical impact, we will create unique integrative training opportunities to meet the needs of these two distinct communities. Graduate students and postdoctorates at the partner institutions will participate in symposia while also taking core courses that teach fundamentals of cancer biology, nanobiotechnology, and physical sciences. We are fortunate to be able to build on a cooperative foundation to support these activities. The current Nanobiotechnology Center has sponsored for a decade a course (BME 667 Nanobiotechnology) that has been video conference to as many as six other sites. A course in Medical Imaging (BME618), taught by a Weill faculty member, was video cast between Ithaca and Weill in Fall 2008. We expect to be able to broadcast almost any course among all of the participating campuses without difficulty. We also have a NIH training grant to support an immersion temi by Ithaca-based biomedical engineering students at Cornell Weill Medical College in the summer for approximately 7 to 8 weeks. These students work closely with a clinician/scientist on a research project and shadow the clinician during his/her daily activities. These students gain an appreciation for both the clinical and research environment of a major medical center. With the support of this grant this experience can be extended to a wider range of students from many other different graduate fields.
This PS-OC brings together expert teams from the fields of physics, nano and microfabrication, engineering and cancer biology to develop novel trans-disciplinary approaches to better understand the complexity of cancer metastasis, the aspect of cancer that directly leads to patient morbidity and mortality. Approaches developed by physical scientists will be focused on the study of cancer. Our studies aim to identify novel mechanisms used by cancer cells, but not normal cells, for growth and metastasis to distant body sites. These new mechanism provide novel drug targets, that aim towards arresting cancer metastasis.
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