The overall goal of the field of cancer molecular pathology is the identification, analysis, and application of molecular markers relevant to cancer susceptibility, diagnosis, prognosis, monitoring, or therapy. As this young interdisciplinary field grows and evolves, there is a clear need to develop novel mechanisms to provide customized training experiences for postdoctoral physician-scientists. These training experiences need to provide a strong educational background that stresses the interrelationships among the participating disciplines that include tumor biology, pathology, oncology, genetics, and quantitative biology. Furthermore, such training experiences must provide in-depth exposure to an interdisciplinary research environment that requires interactive collaboration among biologists, pathologists, oncologists, and other specialists. To create this important training mechanism at the University of Pennsylvania, the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine in conjunction with the University of Pennsylvania Cancer Center is proposing the implementation of a Cancer Molecular Pathology Training Program. The objective of this training program is to permit individuals with clinical training in pathology, oncology, or related fields to obtain basic education and develop research skills necessary for the validation and translation of cancer molecular information into clinical tests for cancer risk assessment, screening, diagnosis, prognosis, minimal disease assessment and therapeutic response prediction. These interdisciplinary didactic and research experiences will be facilitated by organization of a program faculty consisting of tumor biologists, pathologists, oncologists, molecular geneticists, and quantitative biologists. Trainees of this program will be prepared for an academic career in cancer molecular pathology by: 1) coursework in a specialized curriculum; 2) research training that involves completion of an interdisciplinary research project under the supervision of multiple mentors from the participating disciplines; and 3) publication, presentation and grantsmanship training. This innovative program will build on the considerable existing strengths at the University of Pennsylvania in pathology, genetics and cancer, with an established environment of interdisciplinary interactions among the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, the Cancer Center, the Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics and other academic units.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Education Projects (R25)
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Subcommittee G - Education (NCI)
Program Officer
Myrick, Dorkina C
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University of Pennsylvania
Schools of Medicine
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