): The Eppley Cancer Center at the University of Nebraska Medical Center is one of only 10 NCI-designated Basic Laboratory Cancer Centers in the U.S. It is the only NCI-designated Cancer Center in a six state region in the heartlands. As such, the Eppley Cancer Center plays a key regional role in training future scientists and cancer physicians. The applicants also recruit from a national pool of predoctoral and postdoctoral fellows, which enriches all the graduate training programs at UNMC. The NCI Center Research Training Grant supports a key part of their Cancer Center-wide Cancer Research Training Program (CRTP) which currently has 43 predoctoral and 16 postdoctoral fellows in training. The Eppley Cancer Center currently has 108 basic and clinical research faculty who have a wide variety of expertise in areas important for a broad-based cancer research training program. This includes synthetic organic chemistry, biochemistry, structural biology, molecular biology, cellular biology, virology, immunology, pharmacology, pathology, and clinical oncology. The Eppley Cancer Center has been an NCI-designated Cancer Center since 1984 and has a long history of interdisciplinary research and training. The Cancer Center does not grant a doctoral degree and all entering graduate students have a chance to rotate with CRTP faculty before they pick a thesis advisor in one of the participating departments: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Pathology and Microbiology, Pharmacology, or Pharmaceutical Sciences. A number of their trainees are directly involved in translational research activities, for example, in gene-targeted therapy for leukemia, role of catechol estrogens in human breast cancer, radioimmunoconjugate therapy and tumor vaccine development, and development of tumor markers for gynecologic cancer. The objective of the training grant that supports the UNMC/Eppley Cancer Center Cancer Research Training Program is to provide each doctoral student and postdoctoral fellow with the knowledge base, laboratory skills, and problem solving abilities to become independent, innovative cancer investigators.
The Specific Aims of the training grant are to provide pre-and postdoctoral trainees with: 1) knowledge of the mechanisms of carcinogenesis, the epidemiology of human cancer, and the potential for cancer prevention; 2) a broad understanding of the biochemistry, molecular, cellular, and structural biology of normal and cancer cells; and 3) the ability to apply this information to planning and conducting innovative research on the causes, prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer. To achieve these objectives the CRTP must be able to attract highly qualified and motivated graduate students and postdoctoral fellows and provide them with high quality didactic and laboratory experiences.
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