The MD Anderson Cancer Center (MDACC) T32 Research Training in Academic Medical Oncology Program capitalizes on the availability of highly qualified fellows from within the MDACC Hematology/Medical Oncology fellowship program to provide two years of academic research training to selected first-year fellows who have demonstrated strong commitment to a career as a physician scientist or translational clinical investigator in Medical Oncology. The T32 training program is thus a program within a program, but has a separate and distinct organizational and administrative structure with the following specific objectives: 1) To provide and integrate robust didactic, clinical, and lab-based research components within a structured training program focused on the conduct of innovative medical oncology-based research; 2) To prepare trainees for successful careers in academic medicine as physician scientists and clinician investigators focused on novel discoveries and their clinical translation to improve the outcomes of patients with cancer; and 3) To provide a broad range of structured career development opportunities, including the development of skills necessary to obtain peer-reviewed funding to support each trainees' transition to a faculty position in academic medical oncology. Our T32 program involves new leadership with Dr. Richard E. Champlin as Principal Investigator (PI), and Dr. Michael Davies as Co-PI, both accomplished investigators with long-term commitments to education and established track records in successfully mentoring trainees. The program involves an expanded panel of highly accomplished and nationally/internationally recognized program faculty (including Drs. Ron DePinho, Ethan Dmitrovsky, James Allison, Helen Piwnica-Worms, Lynda Chin, Patrick Hwu, John Heymach and others), and provides a broad range of training opportunities that fully exploits the unique research environment at MDACC. These opportunities include participation in new and rapidly developing multidisciplinary research programs in genomic medicine, systems biology, targeted drug development for personalized cancer therapy, and cancer immunotherapy, including cellular immune therapies and hematopoietic transplantation. The program is also enhanced by the extensive programmatic and shared resources of this NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center. The T32 program has been highly successful in producing academic medical oncologists who have made a major impact on the field, with 100% of the T32 graduates during our last funding cycle successfully obtaining academic faculty appointments. This renewal application includes additional plans for career development and mentorship to meet the challenges of an increasingly competitive landscape for young investigators. Finally, our application, which requests 8 postdoctoral trainee slots at levels 5 an 6 for the coming grant cycle, includes an invigorated program governance structure to further our development of the next generation of leaders in clinical, translational, and laboratory-based oncology research.

Public Health Relevance

The MDACC T32 Research Training in Academic Medical Oncology Program is focused on training exceptionally talented and productive MDs and MD/PhDs for a research-oriented career in academic medical oncology. These trainees are exposed to robust didactic, clinical, and lab-based research training experiences as well as a broad range of structured career development opportunities to position the T32 graduates to be the next generation of academically based leaders focused on novel discoveries and clinical translation of their work to improve the lives and outcomes of patients with cancer.

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)
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Lim, Susan E
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University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Internal Medicine/Medicine
United States
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