With the rapid progress in cancer 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, immunology and other emerging fields. 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 in clinical, translational, and laboratory-based oncology research and to become leaders in oncology. Moreover, we are committed to providing T32 training to groups that are underrepresented in academic surgical oncology, including minorities and women. Training is offered to eight 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 combined 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 30th 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, 100% 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, in one of three training tracks; a. basic and translational research, b. quality, clinical effectiveness and outcomes, c. Clinical trials and biomarkers. 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, responsible conduct of research, and a rich array of seminars and graduate courses available are integral to the T32 program. The T32 program faculty includes a multidisiplinary faculty pool, including established surgical investigators, medical and radiation oncologists as well as academic basic science researchers, with peer-reviewed funding. MD Anderson is a leading NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center that provides trainees access to unique resources and our location in the Texas Medical Center provides our trainees potential collaborators at six academic institutions. Thus, the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center is a highly stimulating environment for future leaders in academic surgical oncology.

Public Health Relevance

With the rapid progress in oncology, 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.

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
Lim, Susan E
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University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
United States
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