To address the national shortage of academic surgical oncologists, the Department of Surgery at The University of Miami (UM) Health System and the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center (SCCC), representing an international hub serving diverse, multi-ethnic and disadvantaged/minority populations, have dedicated this new T32 training program to producing outstanding academic surgical oncologists - both clinician investigators and physician scientists. The decrease in the number of surgeon scientists correlates with the NIH?s concern regarding the lack of skilled investigators capable of leading translation of research discoveries from bench to bedside. Integration of a two-year research experience into general surgery residency or surgical oncology fellowship enhances the likelihood that surgeons will pursue academic careers. The specific objectives of this program are: 1) to provide training in the conduct of basic, translational, health services and/or clinical surgical oncology hypothesis-driven research, through participation in a two-year, tailored didactic and mentored postdoctoral research training program experience for selected surgical residents and/or fellows, utilizing the extensive resources of the UM Department of Surgery and SCCC, 2) to integrate surgical oncology research into general surgery residency and fellowship programs and equip each trainee with appropriate supplemental didactic experiences in basic, translational, health services and clinical research, 3) and to develop and train surgeon-scientists to become productive researchers as well as future leaders in academic surgical oncology. Our program provides opportunities in a broad range of research training disciplines including, but not limited to, cancer biology, molecular therapeutics, tumor immunology, biomedical engineering, health disparities, population health, and clinical trial design/implementation. Two types of research training are offered: 1) a basic/translational research track in which trainees spend 24 months in the laboratory or 2) a health disparities and outcomes research track in which trainees spend 24 months under the direction of one or two of the faculty mentors; this track may include one year of laboratory-based research followed by a one to two years of population-based research. Additionally, our trainees have the option to earn an advanced degree - either a Master?s of Science in Clinical and Translational Investigation degree or a Masters of Public Health degree. This versatility in academic training increases the likelihood of obtaining an academic position upon completion of training. Our team of experienced physician-, and research-scientist mentors with active, external peer-reviewed funding are committed to the highest quality research experience, providing state of art training in surgical oncology. The proposed program incorporates a comprehensive training plan in the responsible conduct of research and promotes diversity by recruiting and retaining women, and minority surgeon candidates. The University of Miami offers a dynamic, stimulating and collegial learning environment for this new Research Training Program in Surgical Oncology.
With an aging population, the need for oncology services will continue to increase. In an era of precision medicine, this Research Training Program in Surgical Oncology addresses a critical need to help meet the future demands for training the next generation of surgical oncologists in order to pursue academic careers and to become physician-scientists or clinician investigators and translate research from bench to bedside.
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