The rapid development and advancement of technologies and knowledge in molecular biology and genetics have led to major breakthroughs in cancer etiology research. While the field of cancer epidemiology is moving rapidly toward a new era where interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary collaborative research is the central theme, there is a severe shortage of scientists working at the interfaces of the epidemiology, molecular biology, and genetics. We propose to establish the Vanderbilt Training Program in Molecular and Genetic Epidemiology of Cancer (Vanderbilt-MAGEC) to equip postdoctoral fellows from a variety of disciplines with the methodological tools, practical laboratory and survey-research knowledge, and hands-on research and grant writing experience necessary to launch an independent career in the molecular and genetic epidemiology of cancer.
The specific aims of the Vanderbilt MAGEC are: (1) To recruit exceptional, ethnically diverse candidates (2 MD and 5 PhD) with strong backgrounds in epidemiology, genetics, and/or biology. Candidates will be recruited locally and nationally from among persons who have recently completed PhD degrees in relevant sciences (particularly epidemiology, genetics, biology, chemistry, biostatistics) or MDs with serious interests in cancer epidemiology research. (2) To develop and deliver individualized didactic training tailored to complement each trainee's prior training background and launch them along their desired career paths (molecular or genetic epidemiology of cancer). Specific training will consist of courses, seminars, studios, and a journal club. (3) To establish a multidisciplinary mentor team for each trainee and integrate all trainees into NCI-funded cancer epidemiology research projects. (4) To evaluate the impact of the Vanderbilt-MAGEC by tracking short- and long-term outcomes. Expected short-term outcomes for all trainees include publishing papers in high-impact, peer-reviewed journals and submitting an NIH-quality grant proposal to an internal or external funding agency. Long-term outcomes will include cancer research career placements and NIH grant funding. This program, built upon an outstanding research and education training environment, an excellent body of researchers and educators, multiple, ongoing, cutting-edge research projects, exceptional data/biospecimen and population resources, and the rich history of interdisciplinary training at Vanderbilt, has an outstanding infrastructure and faculty to create an exemplary training program in the molecular and genetic epidemiology of cancer.
The Vanderbilt training program in Molecular and Genetic Epidemiology of Cancer is designed to address the urgent need to build an elite class of epidemiologists to lead the new era of multidisciplinary collaborative research in cancer. The program, built upon an outstanding research and education training environment; excellent body of researchers and educators; multiple, ongoing, cutting-edge research projects; exceptional data/biospecimen and population resources; and the rich history of interdisciplinary training at Vanderbilt, will design and deliver individualized didactic and research training to equip postdoctoral fellows from a variety of disciplines with the methodological tools, practical laboratory and survey-research knowledge, and hands-on research and grant writing experience necessary to launch independent careers in the molecular and genetic epidemiology of cancer.
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