The faculty of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (DFCI) is requesting funds to support a new, integrative, postdoctoral training program in Cancer Chemical Biology and Metabolism (CCBM) ? two synergistic and conceptually related research disciplines grounded in small molecule chemistry and biochemistry that are of growing importance from both basic and translational research perspectives. The goals of this program are to: 1) provide training in a wide range of topics relevant to cancer chemical biology and metabolism such as preclinical cancer target validation, chemical screens, structure-based drug discovery, tumor metabolism, cross-talk between tumor and host metabolism, cellular bioenergetics and metabolomics, mechanistic biochemistry, proteomics and chemoproteomics, and animal tumor modelling; 2) familiarize trainees with state- of-the-art technologies and approaches in chemical biology and metabolic science, 3) train fellows to identify important questions and approaches that will move the field forward and provide translational opportunities to impact cancer treatment; 4) provide trainees with opportunities to develop and enhance their grantsmanship and scientific communication skills; 5) coach fellows on their paths to independent careers in science by implementing Individual Development Plans (IDPs), individual postdoctoral mentoring committees, and customized opportunities for trainees to acquire experience in mentoring and teaching depending on their career goals. The CCBM Training Program will support 8 postdoctoral fellows per year for 2-year appointments. It will be administered by a Director (Dr. Thomas Roberts, Contact PD/PI) and a co-Director (Dr. Nika Danial, PD/PI), and will include 26 mentors and 6 co-mentors from 4 departments at DFCI. The program Director and co- Director will work closely with a Training Oversight Committee (TOC), an External Advisory Board (EAB), and a trainee-led advisory group consisting of current and past program fellows who will help identify ways to optimize the program. Additional strategies to measure trainee satisfaction, quantify outcomes, and evaluate the effectiveness of the program will include annual surveys from trainees and mentors, as well as exit and alumni interviews. Institutional support through state-of-the-art core facilities and technology platforms, as well as funds to support T32-specific training activities and yearly EAB meetings will significantly enhance the training program. In addition to offering robust training in a diverse range of scientific and career development skills, a key goal of the program is to recruit and support a more diverse group of trainees. To further ensure the program's effectiveness in enhancing diversity, our EAB and Training Oversight Committee include leaders with deep experience in diversity and inclusion. We believe the integrative CCBM Training Program will prepare fellows for a range of research careers and train the next generation of scientists who will thrive in the 21st century biomedical workforce that will make breakthroughs in cancer research and treatment. !
This project brings together the considerable talents of a faculty group at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute to train the next generation of young postdoctoral scientists in the skills needed to perform outstanding cancer research combining metabolic and chemical biology approaches with more traditional cancer biology approaches. The faculty are carefully selected for their mentoring abilities and expertise in cancer chemical biology and metabolism as well as more traditional cancer biology skills. The trainees of this program will contribute greatly to the advancement of the understanding of basic mechanisms driving tumor initiation, growth, and metastasis as well as the translation of this knowledge into novel and effective cancer treatments.