With the rapid development of many different nanotechnology-based platforms for cancer detection, diagnosis and therapy, there is a tremendous need for MD and PhD-level scientists who are capable not only of generating additional cancer nanomaterials but also of optimizing their biological properties, and evaluating their safety and clinical efficacy. The goal of the proposed new T32 Cancer Nanotechnology Training Program at Northwestern University (NU) is to graduate trainees who are well-versed in the principles and tools of nanotechnology, who have a good working knowledge of cancer biology and clinical oncology, and who can apply their nanotechnology skills and knowledge to translational research that impacts cancer patients. To accomplish these goals, the training program will provide research training that spans a continuum of cancer nanotechnology topics, an extensive educational curriculum that confers a complementary knowledge base, and a multifaceted career development program that prepares trainees for academic careers as well as for other research-related careers. Multiple mechanisms will be in place to evaluate the performance of the trainees, mentors, and the overall program. Trainees will have access to a wide array of resources and programs supported by the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center, which will administer the training program and with which all 18 of the training program preceptors are affiliated. Training will occur within a milieu replete with nanotechnology resources, including those of NU's International Institute for Nanotechnology, the Institute for BioNanotechnology in Medicine, and the NU Center for Cancer Nanotechnology Excellence. Most of the program's 18 preceptors have ties to one or more of these nanotechnology institutes. The program will enroll a mix of MD and Ph.D. trainees, and we are requesting support for four trainees per year for five years.
The proposed postdoctoral training program at Northwestern University, Cancer Nanotechnology Training Program, will prepare individuals already possessing PhD, MD, or MD-PhD degrees for research careers focused on moving advances in nanotechnology into the cancer clinic. It will build on existing strengths at Northwestern University in both cancer and nanotechnology research.
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