This proposal is to provide continuing support for an organized program of interdisciplinary training currently for 24 postdoctoral fellows in defined areas of basic research that are likely to lead to insights into fundamental mechanisms of cancer. The basic research, conducted in the laboratories of 66 preceptors selected from the core faculty of the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center (UNC-LCCC), are in the 6 established basic research programs in Molecular Carcinogenesis, Virology, Cancer Cell Biology, Immunology, Molecular Therapeutics and Cancer Genetics. Faculty from 25 departments, programs and curricula participate in the training program. All 67 preceptors have independent peer-reviewed research support;total yearly support (direct costs) has increased from $20.3 to $56.7 million dollars since the last renewal. There is a strong emphasis on interdisciplinary training, promoted by the philosophy and organization of UNC LCCC and facilitated by the Center's many shared core facilities used for training. Support for the facilities comes from the Center's core-support grant, which was rated outstanding (priority score 132) with increased funding when last renewed, and from the UNC Program in Molecular Biology &Biotechnology. The plan for training of each fellow is individualized upon entry to the program primarily by the preceptor, with input from the Director, Associate Director, Training Committee, and fellow. Specific features are emphasized according to the needs of the trainees, and the progress of each trainee is monitored. Because of the importance of translational research, a subset of the trainees will be physicians interested in basic research as well as selected Ph.D.'s. Specific efforts made to recruit minorities to this training program have been successful and will continue to receive priority in the next funding period. The program includes a weekly LCCC seminar series, monthly in-house seminar series given by the fellows, the annual Cancer Center symposium, the annual Postdoctoral-Faculty Research Day, annual consultant selected by the fellows, special lectures including a mandatory session on ethics, working research program groups, the postdoctoral fellows'committee, the UNC Postdoctoral Office and annual awards for the best papers by fellows. The program is administered by the Director &Associate Director who report to the Director, of UNC LCCC, with the advice of the Training Committee &the Center's Program Planning Committee. UNC LCCC will continue to expand substantially in the next 5 years. The present phased request (26 slots in years 36 and 37 and 29 slots in years 38, 39 and 40) meshes with a backdrop of institutional growth in size and excellence. The request is based on the significant expansion in number of outstanding preceptors;solid growth in faculty funding;continuing major expansion of basic research facilities used for training, recent and projected;underwritten by the new $50 million University Cancer Research Fund (UCRF) annually, committed by the State of North Carolina;and sustained by highly qualified applicants -all coupled with the further maturation of this UNC postdoctoral training program for basic cancer research during the last 5 years and the consolidation of UNC LCCC's national reputation for excellence in research and training.
This is a primary resource for training and developing professionals who are the mainstay in fundamental science for the U.S. Cancer Program. This large select cohort of trainees supplies investigators in cancer-related research at Universities, Hospitals, and institutes throughout the United States. The size, quality, success and durability of this unique biomedical postdoctoral training program, now in its 35 year, insure continuing substantial contribution to the health of the nation.
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