With the rapid progress in molecular biology, there is a great need to train academic surgical oncologists that can not only deliver state of the art surgical care, but can also lead multidisciplinary teams and research programs leveraging molecular oncology and new technologies. To address the national shortage of surgical investigators focused on surgical oncology, the Department of Surgical Oncology at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center has dedicated its T32 training program to producing academic surgical oncologists. The long-term objective is to train surgical residents and surgical oncology fellows in the essential research skills necessary to be productive independent surgical investigators, and leaders in surgical oncology. Moreover, we are committed to providing T32 training to groups that are underrepresented in academic surgical oncology, including minority individuals and women. Training is offered to postdoctoral M.D. or M.D. Ph.D. fellows either during a 24-month hiatus from general surgery residency training or during a three-year clinical/research fellowship in surgical oncology that begins after general surgery residency. Our T32 training program has been highly successful in achieving its goals and is now entering its 25th year. Upon completion of their residency training, most of our T32 research fellows either started fellowship training, or accepted academic surgical positions. Upon completion of their surgical oncology fellowship training, all of our T32 clinical/research fellows entered academic Surgical Oncology positions. Our T32 program provides research opportunities in a broad range of basic oncologic disciplines, including cancer biology, molecular oncology, cell signaling, nanotechnology, molecular therapeutics, biomarker development and validation, clinical trials, clinical effectiveness and outcomes research. This academic training program allows us to train surgeons with a diverse set of unique skills, increasing the likelihood of trainees obtaining an academic position upon completion of training. Training in biostatistics, and the responsible conduct of research, and a rich array of seminars and graduate courses are integral to this T32 program. The T32 program faculty includes established surgical investigators and full-time academic basic science researchers, all of whom have peer-reviewed grant support. Programs at the Texas Medical Center provide our trainees access to resources and potential collaborators at six academic institutions. Thus, the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center is a highly stimulating environment for aspiring academic surgical oncologists.
With the rapid progress in molecular biology, there is a great need to train academic surgical oncologists that can not only deliver state of the art surgical care, but can also lead multidisciplinary teams as well as research programs leveraging molecular oncology and new technologies. The goal of this T32 training program is to train surgical trainees in the essential research skills necessary to be productive independent surgical investigators and leaders in surgical oncology.
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