This application requests support for a Training Program in Cancer Biology at the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at Thomas Jefferson University. This Program provides broad multidisciplinary pre-doctoral and postdoctoral training in understanding the development, progression and treatment of cancer. The Program will provide trainees with a rigorous basic mechanistic understanding of cancer and participation in laying the groundwork for translational approaches to treat cancer. In addition, trainees will interact with clinical researchers to gain insight into the use of cancer therapeutics and the mechanism through which basic research findings are brought into the clinic. Mentors in this Training Program include established faculty members that have cancer-focused research programs and significant experience in mentoring as well as a core group of cancer-focused junior faculty. A significant number of mentors are involved in translational research and clinical trials activities that are focused on cancer. This unique combination of participating faculty will provide training through direct mentoring interactions, specialized educational activities, and course work. The Training Program in Cancer Biology includes 37 members of the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center from 12 basic and clinical departments. The Training Program is administered by the co-Principal Investigators and several Administrative Committees. The leadership team is focused on delivering training excellence to an ethnically and scientifically diverse cadre of trainees. The Program will be evaluated through both internal and external review mechanisms to ensure that the trainees are receiving the best possible training experience. Overall, this Program will provide outstanding career development for trainees to pursue careers dependent upon understanding the mechanistic basis of cancer and its application to cancer therapeutics; it will provide a critical team-based educational experience in the multi-disciplinary nature of translational research and stimulate the trainees to actively consider clinical trials design and clinical research activities.
The overall goal of this Training Program is to develop highly trained research scientists that have a broad understanding of the development, progression and treatment of cancer and are ready to pursue independent careers in cancer research and therapeutics. The next generation of cancer researchers will rely on a mechanistic understanding of cancer as the foundation for translational approaches to treat cancer, giving this Training Program significant relevance to public health.