This application is a renewal request for funding of the Training Program in Oncogenesis and Developmental Biology (T32 CA080621) at the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University. Over the past 10 years, this Training Program has been preparing pre-doctoral students and post-doctoral trainees to work at the interface between cancer and developmental biology through laboratory research, formal course work and participation in seminars, journal clubs and group meetings. The hypothesis of this Training Program is that an understanding of key processes in developmental biology informs studies of oncogenesis. Trainees will use their understanding of normal development to identify lesions that are functionally significant for oncogenic transformation. The intent is to train a cohort of investigators who ultimately use this informatio for therapeutically targeting the cancer stem cell. In the first ten years of funding, the Training Program in Oncogenesis and Developmental Biology effectively trained 15 pre-doctoral students and 23 post-doctoral fellows;14 remain in training. Of the trainees who have completed the Training Program, 9 have obtained faculty appointments, 9 have obtained relevant positions in industry, and over 25% have successfully competed for national funding. In this renewal application, we propose expansion of the Training Program to include a required career development curriculum and multi-disciplinary training in cutting edge technologies that are relevant to cancer research. We also further define the required and recommended courses in cancer and developmental biology that are specific to the trainee level. To facilitate identification and support of the highest quality of trainees, we have expanded the Northwestern University based selection and evaluation committee. We have also added an External Advisory Committee that includes individuals with involvement in high caliber T32 programs to further assist us in achieving this goal. In the current renewal application, we request funding for two pre-doctoral students and four post- doctoral fellows per year for a period of five years. This wil enable us to continue focused training in Oncogenesis and Developmental Biology.
This Program trains graduate students and postdoctoral fellows at the interface of oncogenesis and developmental biology and prepares them for careers as independent scientists. A group of highly qualified faculty at Northwestern University who work in various areas of developmental and cancer have been assembled to provide scientific oversight and mentorship to our trainees.
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