Cancer and metabolic dysfunction are closely related, and together they create unique therapeutic challenges. City of Hope (COH), an NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center (COHCCC) located in Duarte, CA, is known internationally for clinical cancer research and groundbreaking diabetes research. Therefore, the Cancer Metabolism Training Program (CMTP), supported by a rapidly growing research infrastructure at COH, will bring together research experts in cancer and metabolism to train an elite group of dedicated postdoctoral fellows. The CMTP will focus on the link between cancer and metabolism, thereby connecting the long- standing COHCCC with the new COH Diabetes and Metabolism Research Institute. Faculty preceptors will direct research training in four primary areas: 1) Cancer Risk, Prevention, and Metabolism; 2) Cancer Metabolism Biology and Genetics; 3) Cancer Inflammation and Immune Cell Metabolism; and 4) Metabolism- Based Cancer Treatment. The training program includes an organized core curriculum consisting of courses in scientific and career development training, with individualized attention to best achieve each trainee?s personal goals and support the individual needs of a diverse trainee population. Courses in the Responsible Conduct of Research and Methods for Enhancing Reproducibility will also be required. Other associated activities include seminars, journal clubs, data clubs, and an annual Cancer Metabolism Day. The program is designed to take advantage of the existing institutional strengths, including well-established collaborations between cancer and diabetes/metabolism researchers. The CMTP has drawn 25 mentors from 12 departments, all of whom have robust funding profiles with high-profile publications, and are dedicated to preparing early career scientists for leadership roles in cancer research. Six promising early-career investigators will serve as co-mentors and participate in mentor development activities. The 3 NIH T32-supported postdoctoral trainees, supported for up to 3 years, will be selected through a rigorous process, including a personal interview. Trainees will be evaluated on their publications, applications for external funding, and participation in CMTP activities. The outstanding support from COH leadership includes 1) an additional trainee position for every underrepresented minority trainee recruited, up to a total of 6 positions; 2) salary supplementation for all CMTP trainees; 3) a stipend for research supplies; and 4) full administrative and faculty salary support. Each trainee will establish a Mentoring Committee, which will include a physician to expedite translational research. The CMTP leadership will include a Recruitment Committee to oversee national recruitment efforts, a Curriculum and Training Committee to oversee course development, an Executive Committee to evaluate and modify program components, and an Internal and External Advisory Board to independently assess program progress. The overall goal of the CMTP is to assist the transformation of promising researchers into strong independent, funded scientists with the capacity to make contributions that improve human health.
To bridge the gap between cancer and metabolic disease research, we propose the postdoctoral T32 Cancer Metabolism Training Program (CMTP) at City of Hope (COH, Duarte, CA). This training program, which is strongly supported by COH leadership, will build upon the rapidly growing COH research infrastructure, unique translational science and precision medicine resources, and exceptional long-term institutional strengths in both cancer and diabetes research. Our faculty mentors and physician collaborators have built a robust CMTP- specific program infrastructure and curriculum to attract and train a diverse group of highly qualified candidates. The goal of the CMTP is to produce the next generation of translational research leaders, who are poised to exchange ideas, expertise, and techniques leading to the direct and effective flow of basic scientific discoveries into translational clinical testing and ultimately therapies.