More than 600,000 Americans will die of cancer in 2017. While cancer affects the entire US population, it has the distinct feature of striking disparities in incidence and mortality across several `priority' populations such as racial/ethnic minorities, the low-income, and the elderly, reflecting differences in risk factors and access to prevention and treatments. The National Cancer Institute highlighted the interplay of environment, biology and behavior as determinants of cancer outcomes in priority populations and the need for its integration in cancer prevention and control (CPC) efforts, signaling a greater need for multidisciplinary approaches to CPC research for priority populations. Such complex approaches require developing highly trained research scientists with a multidisciplinary `mindset': the enthusiasm and appreciation for working across disciplines to gain new perspectives on old problems and develop innovative solutions. And yet, the development pipeline for such investigators is inadequate to match the growing burden of cancer and cancer risk in priority populations. The overarching goal of the proposed CPC postdoctoral research training program is to launch the careers of a new generation of clinical and non-clinical researchers prepared to apply this multidisciplinary approach to CPC research targeting priority populations. The program's goals are to: 1) Provide a tailored curriculum integrating biological, medical, epidemiologic, behavioral, and community perspectives in CPC research in priority populations; 2) Promote interdisciplinary approaches to CPC research; and 3) Foster multidisciplinary research careers in CPC among trainees through mentored research. To successfully execute these aims, the program will recruit candidates who show promise as future multidisciplinary CPC investigators; provide outstanding mentorship; foster a multidisciplinary team science environment; and facilitate the attainment of academic career and life skills needed to pursue and sustain long term success as independent investigators. The program's strengths will lie in the diverse CPC research portfolio at Mount Sinai, its integration in the newly NCI-accredited Tisch Cancer Institute, the network of methodologically diverse and accomplished mentors, and Mount Sinai's long history of serving the socioeconomically, racially and ethnically diverse communities that comprise its catchment area. It is modeled after our highly successful prior R25T Behavioral CPC training program. The program will matriculate 2 candidates each year for the 2-year fellowship, training a total of 10 new investigators over 5 years. Each trainee will develop a highly tailored curriculum in consultation with their mentors and the Program Directors. The curricula will be rooted in the 11 core competencies needed to start a successful career in multidisciplinary CPC research targeting priority populations. Trainees will have a primary and secondary mentor(s), and their progress will be carefully monitored by a Mentorship Committee. The program will receive guidance from expert internal and external advisory boards, and its performance will be regularly monitored through select metrics to ensure continued improvement, growth, and sustainability.
Research in cancer prevention and control is a key to combat both the incidence of and suffering associated with cancer, particularly among `priority' populations such as racial/ethnic minorities, low-income, and the elderly. To that end, we propose to establish a multidisciplinary postdoctoral research training program in cancer prevention and control, with emphasis on these populations. Our goal is to train the next generation of independent cancer researchers through tailored curricular and research experiences that promote interdisciplinary approaches to cancer prevention and control.