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Basic Medical Research Training in Oncology

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PROJECT SUMMARY The objective of the University of Chicago training program in Basic Medical Oncology is to provide an outstanding interdisciplinary research training environment for postdoctoral fellows who have completed internal medicine residency training in order to prepare them for research-intensive careers in academia, government, industry and community based practices. Candidates for T32 training are recruited from the ACGME-accredited hematology/oncology training in the Section of Hematology/Oncology within our Department of Medicine with the expectation that candidates for T32 training will complete one clinical year funded by the hospital and then have a minimum of two or three years of research training under the proposed training grant depending on whether they perform patient-oriented research or fundamental basic/translational/population research. The direction of the program ? provision of multidisciplinary, structured, career development, advising and learning opportunities in cancer research ? has not changed since the program's inception, but we have continued to evolve the program in response to a national need to develop and/or enhance research training opportunities for individuals from diverse backgrounds interested in team science and translational research. There are several unique structural elements in the research training proposed: 1) access to a diverse population of cancer patients; 2) training under the guidance of multidiciplinary research preceptor(s) within a robust scientific environment that provides innovative scientific approaches, tools and technologies; 3) specific educational pathways in the form of course work and special seminars leading to a Masters degree from any relevant unit in the University; and 4) service learning opportunities to improve health equity in our catchment area on the Southside of Chicago and across the globe. The 33 Senior and 22 Clinical/Junior research training faculty preceptors have NIH or equivalent peer- reviewed funding, interact on a number of collaborative research and training efforts and are well qualified to serve as potential mentors for the six trainees per year participating in this T32 program. In the proposed grant period, we shall continue the successful elements of the program in Clinical Pharmacology, Genomics and Immunotherapy. At the same time, we shall enhance the curricular offerings by providing coursework in emerging areas of cancer research including Epigenetics, Metabolomics, Medical Informatics, Quality of Care, Implementation Science and Global Cancer Research. Our extensive inpatient and outpatient facilities promote a comprehensive clinical training experience, while our research laboratories allow for the acquisition of basic research skills. In addition, our diverse populations on the Southside of Chicago and our global partners will provide learning opportunities in community engaged research locally and at International sites to advance novel interventions to reduce the global burden of cancer. With the rapid pace of scientific advancement, a well trained oncology work force as proposed in this training program remains a wise investment for the nation.
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