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Cancer Etiology, Prevention, Detection and Diagnosis

Amato J. Giaccia

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National Institutes of Health (NIH)
This application requests funds to continue the highly successful Cancer Biology training program at the Stanford University School of Medicine entitled "Cancer Etiology, Prevention, Detection and Diagnosis". This Interdisciplinary Program provides our faculty, especially those in non-degree granting departments (e.g., Radiation Oncology and Pathology), the opportunity to recruit and mentor top-notch graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. The goal of this program is to provide the very best training for its predoctoral and postdoctoral trainees so that they become successful and independent leaders in the field of cancer research. The program accomplishes this goal by providing each graduate and postdoctoral trainee with a broad and comprehensive curriculum, a vast array of educational resources, such as seminars, lectures, conferences and workshops specifically geared towards the biology of cancer, a faculty comprised of 82 exceptional preceptors spanning 23 departments with extensive experience in cancer research mentoring, and an unparalleled research environment. In addition, postdoctoral trainees are expected to participate in the same seminar series, conferences and presentations as graduate students, but will only audit courses that will aid them in their research and achieving their career goals. As a prelude to our postdoctoral trainees becoming independent scientists, they are expected to learn to effectively write grants, and obtain their own individual funding. They will also learn more extensive professional skills such as lab management and mentoring to more successfully compete in today's job market. A key strength of the program is its true multidisciplinary approach to cancer research incorporating such fields as molecular biology, genetics, cell biology, computational biology and bioinformatics, comparative oncology, developmental biology, tumor biology, as well as biotechnology development for use in cancer diagnosis and therapeutics. The success of the Cancer Biology training program is demonstrated by its track record of attracting outstanding and talented predoctoral and postdoctoral candidates to Stanford University and placing graduates of the program in high profile competitive cancer research positions. To aid in the further development of the training program we have recently created a four-member Advisory Board consisting of highly accomplished members of the Stanford research community and one external advisor. Finally, during the next five year period we will develop a Cancer Systems Biology research focus to train the researchers in cancer biology who are adept at the computational analysis of highly complex related data sets.

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