Melanoma is the deadliest skin cancer with yearly increasing incidence and poor prognosis due to failure of both primary and secondary prevention strategies, respectively. Melanoma treatment strategies are often unsuccessful due to patients? intrinsic or acquired drug resistance, highlighting the need for novel, secondary prevention-intervention strategies with thoroughly validated mechanistic targets. Therefore, my career goal is to become an independent, academic melanoma researcher, with a focus in translational science to develop strategies to target melanoma. To ensure this outcome, the enclosed comprehensive research, mentoring, and career development plans will be implemented over the course of the predoctoral and postdoctoral fellowship training periods. My overall hypothesis is that goal-oriented research and career development in my predoctoral and postdoctoral training years will lead me to establish myself as an independent, academic melanoma researcher. The following aims will address this hypothesis:
Aim 1 : The Dissertation Research Project ? goal, rationale, hypotheses, and progress thus far.
Aim 2 : The Dissertation Research Project ? work to be completed.
Aim 3 : The Postdoctoral Research Direction. My predoctoral research is significant because it provides critical knowledge about the differential role of oxidative stress, autophagy, and p62 regulation as survival mechanisms for melanoma development and the potential for therapeutic targeting in melanoma. Further, the research technical skills acquired during the predoctoral phase will positively impact my postdoctoral research training as I learn to evaluate mechanisms of melanoma development, prevention strategies and therapeutic targeting in vivo. The results of my proposed research studies will also positively impact public health by development of therapeutic strategies for melanoma. The proposed career development plan will be instrumental for my training as a postdoctoral fellow and subsequent transition to a research faculty position. Overall, the outlined dual-phase fellowship training plan will undoubtedly facilitate my research and career development as I continue to contribute to improving public health as an established translational cancer researcher.
Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer with a yearly increasing incidence due to ineffective primary prevention and tanning behaviors. My predoctoral research aims to understand the cellular pathways that allow melanoma cells to survive, and the potential to target such pathways while not harming normal pigmentproducing cells (melanocytes). In my postdoctoral research, I will gain additional research training using preclinical animal models of melanoma to test secondary prevention approaches and participate in a variety of career development activities in order to become a successful cancer scientist.