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Cancer Biology Training Program

Tarun M. Kapoor

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National Institutes of Health (NIH)
This application is a renewal for a comprehensive training program in Cancer Biology at The Rockefeller University, an institution with a strong history in this area. The predoctoral training program is a specialized unit of the Ph.D. programat Rockefeller, requiring thesis research on a project related to cancer biology and course work providing in depth education in the molecular basis of cancer, as well as training in general molecular biology, molecular genetics, genetics, cell biology, and organismal biology. The postdoctoral training is centered on mentored experimental research on a cancer-relevant subject, complemented with participation in the graduate course on the molecular basis of cancer and further education through lectures at Rockefeller and its neighboring institutions. Alltrainees work together to organize the Annual Rockefeller Cancer Symposium, featuring outside speakers and a poster session at which all trainees present their progress. Now it its fourth decade, we propose to support 2 predoctoral and 5 postdoctoral trainees through the training program. The predoctoral and postdoctoral applicant pools are outstanding, including a large number of students with superb academic and research accomplishments, and who are primarily interested in cancer biology. Program direction, selection and mentorship of trainees, and monitoring trainee progress is executed by the Program Advisory Committee (PAC). The PAC is composed of the Program Director, the Dean of Graduate Studies, and a Program faculty member in addition to two external members who have expertise in graduate and postdoctoral training in cancer biology. The 11 faculty trainers are accomplished scientists, including 5 members of the US National Academy of Sciences. This group of investigators represents expertise in a very broad range of cancer biology, including the study of oncogenes, cell cycle control, DNA replication, transcriptional regulation, RNA processing, chromosome biology, genome instability, apoptosis and metastasis. The interdisciplinary nature of the program encourages trainees to perform collaborative work in various areas with different faculty. Finally, the University provides extensive support for the graduate and postdoctoral programs in general, which benefits the Cancer Biology training program. The confluence of these attributes defines a specific training program that would equip trainees with the educational background, analytical abilities, and experimental expertise to forge future advances in cancer biology.

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