Education & Training

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Targets of Cancer Training Program

Program Overview

Opportunities are available for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows to obtain rigorous laboratory-based training in the biology of cancer at the Masonic Cancer Center. An NCI-awarded Cancer Biology Training Grant provides financial support and a specialized program of training that will allow students and fellows to establish themselves as independent investigators who will pursue research into the etiology and treatment of cancer.

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Predoctoral Training

Predoctoral trainees are selected on a competitive basis from current graduate students in the following graduate programs at the University of Minnesota:

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Postdoctoral Training

The postdoctoral training program is designed to provide training in the conduct of scholarly investigation in one of the four scientific areas of expertise of the Cancer Biology Training Grant preceptors. The training is designed for biomedical scientists who have a Ph.D. in basic science (biochemistry, cell biology, genetics, microbiology, immunology, etc.) and for physicians who have basic research experience and interest in the areas studied by the preceptors. Support for postdoctoral trainees is typically for two years. However, all postdoctoral trainees are encouraged to apply for independent postdoctoral funding while they are being supported on the training grant.

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Steering Committee

The Cancer Biology Training Grant Steering Committee oversees the general operation of the training grant, evaluates and selects applicants for new trainee positions, evaluates new training grant preceptor applications, and coordinates programs to expose trainees to the realities of cancer patient treatment.

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Faculty Preceptors

Research opportunities in the laboratories of Targets of Cancer Training Program faculty preceptors cover the broad areas of cell metastasis/angiogenesis, immunology and cancer, cancer genetics/etiology, and cancer therapy. 

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Cancer Disparities T32 Training Program

The Cancer Related Health Disparities Training Program seeks to train researchers who are prepared to conduct community-engaged research to develop, test, and disseminate interventions in both clinical and community settings to reduce cancer-related health disparities among communities most impacted by inequities.

The program also intends to enhance the diversity of the research workforce in this area of study by specifically recruiting individuals from underrepresented or underresourced populations.

The program is innovative in focusing on education and experience in community-engaged research and on interventions to reduce cancer disparities. It's also innovative in mentorship, in which community members provide cultural mentoring and partnership in all aspects of research.

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Research Fellowship in Translational & Genomic Pediatric Cancer Epidemiology

This training program emanates from the Division of Pediatric Epidemiology and Clinical Research and the Masonic Cancer Center. This program provides opportunities for both pre- and post-doctoral students to enhance their research training and experience in translational pediatric cancer epidemiology.

Trainees have the opportunity to work in a variety of research settings including classical epidemiology, statistical genetics/computational biology, laboratory bench science, and clinical investigations. Along with coursework specific to pediatric cancer, strong graduate school degree programs at the University of Minnesota in Epidemiology (PhD) and in Clinical Research (MS) offer opportunities for courses in epidemiology, cancer epidemiology, biostatistics, cancer biology, genetic epidemiology, immunology, clinical trials/methods, and field research. Further, students have several unparalleled opportunities for supervised translational research projects in stem cell biology, human and animal research, study design and development, statistical analysis approaches, and individual and team grant writing.

Trainees who graduate from this program will have the capacity to undertake high impact pediatric cancer research across a spectrum of disciplines. It is expected that at least two post-doctoral trainees will choose to obtain a Master's degree in Clinical Research through the Graduate School. All trainees will participate in monthly pediatric epidemiology meetings, an annual retreat, and present their own research at national meetings. All trainees will receive instruction in the responsible conduct of research. Under-represented minorities are especially encouraged to apply.

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