Cancer is the 2nd major cause of human morbidity and mortality. Thus, PhDs and MD/PhDs specifically trained in the discipline of Cancer Biology and professionally involved in cancer research and education are a critical national health need. It is our view that an interdisciplinary graduate curriculum with a major focus upon the biology of cancer that interfaces with clinicians engaged in cancer diagnosis and treatment provides an excellent means of training specialists with a sufficient breadth of perspective for successful independent careers in cancer research and education. This is an application for renewal of a training grant, currently in its 30th year, to support 7 pre-doctoral students from the Cancer Biology Graduate Program (CBGP) in the Department of Oncology at the Wayne State University (WSU) and the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute (KCI). Trainees include both PhD and MD/PhD candidates and are selected from our diverse student population, including underrepresented minorities. Training draws from the outstanding clinical and research facilities at WSU/KCI and the expertise of 18 accomplished preceptors in areas ranging from neoplastic development, and invasion and metastasis, to cancer therapy, prevention, and cancer epidemiology. The cornerstone of our training environment is the CPGB, which provides a unique educational experience that integrates extended cancer courses, seminars by local and nationally/internationally recognized speakers, student-faculty research retreats, attendance at national/international meetings, and specialized workshops and courses, ultimately culminating in a PhD in Cancer Biology. Graduate students are exposed to state-of-the-art methods in molecular and cell biology and population science research, and with cutting-edge technologies through the KCI research cores, while performing hypothesis-based cancer research. Students receive clinical exposures to the cancer problem by ?rounding? with oncologists at the KCI Cancer Hospital. Specialized training in responsible conduct of research and on topics ranging from rigorous experimental design and fellowship writing to career options is also provided. The enduring goal of our Cancer Biology training program is to train PhD and MD-PhD students in experimental laboratory and population science research, including both basic and translational research.Training of our most outstanding graduate candidates from the CBGP is clearly enhanced by their competing for appointment to this NCI-sponsored training grant, thus equiping them to pursue successful careers in cancer research and education. During the more than 29 years of support, T32 CA009351 has trained an impressive group of cancer biologists who are substantially contributing to basic and translational cancer research and educational efforts throughout the United States.

Public Health Relevance

Cancer is the 2nd major cause of human morbidity and mortality. Consequently, PhD and MD/PhD researchers specifically trained in the discipline of Cancer Biology and professionally involved in cancer research and education are a critical national health need. This training grant currently in its 30th year of continuous funding is a cornerstone of a unique interdisciplinary graduate program designed to train the next generation of cancer researchers and educators to meet this urgent national need.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Institutional National Research Service Award (T32)
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Subcommittee I - Transistion to Independence (NCI)
Program Officer
Damico, Mark W
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Wayne State University
Internal Medicine/Medicine
Schools of Medicine
United States
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