This training grant application seeks funding for the Duke Research Training Program in Surgical Oncology in the Duke University Department of Surgery. The revised submission includes a partial structural reorganization of the program in order to be more relevant and responsive to the evolving training needs of physician scientists in surgical oncology. The program has been designed to provide academic surgeons with the research method skills necessary to pursue independent academic careers that will improve the health and outcomes of patients with cancer or premalignant conditions. The training program will combine the substantial academic rigor of the Duke University School of Medicine with the Duke Department of Surgery's long-standing commitment to training the next generation of surgical researchers. The program will be led by a leadership team of academic surgeon-scientists with expertise in surgical oncology, pathology, immunology, and health outcomes research. Supplemented by mentors with expertise in basic, translational, and clinical research, this multidisciplinary team spans the breadth of surgical oncology research to address research questions in three distinct tracks: 1) Cancer Biomarkers and Biology of Local Disease, 2) Clinical Investigation and Health Services Research, and 3) Cancer Immunotherapy. The program will support 6 research fellows each year; program participants will consist of surgical residents recruited from within as well as outside of Duke. Trainees will select a primary mentor from a highly experienced and diverse group of 37 researchers. Guided by their mentors, the trainees will each develop and execute a research project, which will be the basis of a future career development or independent research award application. A robust research infrastructure and substantial departmental resources will support the trainees, thus facilitating their conduct and publication of original investigations with complete protection from clinical service. Specific instruction in technical aspects of surgical oncology investigation will be provided, as will mentorship in scientific writing, publication, ethics and clinical time management. The unifying objective of the program will be to train the future national leaders in academic surgical oncology.

Public Health Relevance

There is a critical need for surgeons knowledgeable in clinical aspects of oncology and skilled in modern scientific methods that will provide novel approaches to the understanding and treatment of cancer. Development of highly skilled physician-scientists requires dedicated research training and mentorship experience, which will be provided to medical residents who participate in the proposed training program.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Institutional National Research Service Award (T32)
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Subcommittee F - Institutional Training and Education (NCI-F)
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Perkins, Susan N
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Duke University
Schools of Medicine
United States
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