The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) requests continuation of support for an intensive one-week summer workshop on the molecular biology of cancer that has been in operation since July 1992. The workshop is primarily designed for oncologists in training at the fellow level. Space is also made available to a limited number of senior oncologists. The development and application of a range of cellular and molecular biological approaches to the study of gene structure and expression, cellular growth control, and malignant transformation have resulted in remarkable advances in the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of cancer. There are increasing numbers of opportunities for effective application of this knowledge in the clinic. Physician-scientists are especially well suited to conduct bench to bedside, as well as bedside to bench, translational cancer research. They are also the natural bridges to foster communication between care providers and basic researchers. However, many clinical oncology fellows either lack formal scientific instruction or are years removed from it due to the demands of clinical training and clinical practice. The goals of this workshop are to provide oncologists with a working knowledge of the essential concepts and techniques of molecular biology, and to encourage and equip them to devote their future careers to translational cancer research by: 1) Present lectures by leading experts on the basic concepts of molecular biology and on the most recent developments in the translation of these concepts to clinical research and practice;2) Organize small group laboratory sessions to demonstrate important experimental techniques utilized in basic molecular biology;3) Provide one-on-one discussion opportunities with leaders in the field to provide participants with scientific and career development advice, as well as other informal mentoring input;4) Use a grant writing exercise to introduce applicants to the R01 grant writing and review process;5) Create an online community of faculty and attendees, both past and present, using social networking tools to facilitate exchange of scientific information and career development advice;and 6) Design and execute means of evaluating the success of the workshop in achieving its stated goals, including the use of program evaluations, faculty reviews, and trainee input, and use this information to continually refine and improve the workshop.
This intense one-week Workshop provides hands-on training in state-of-the-art concepts and techniques of molecular biology especially as can be applied to work on human cancer. The purpose is to provide physicians in training at the level of oncology fellow and a limited number of senior scientists with a unique training experience that will enable them to pursue avenues of investigation in basic, translation, and clinical cancer research that will benefit the public health by contributing to our understanding of the genetic and molecular mechanisms important to improving the treatment, diagnosis, and prevention of cancer. The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) considers this Workshop to be an essential training opportunity for young physician-scientists because it provides intensive, hands-on training in several molecular biology techniques and experimental methods that are not available for most medical students, especially in such concentrated and cutting-edge form. This Workshop allows these physician-scientists to hit the ground running when they enter the laboratory to help bring new results from the bench to the bedside.
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