NRSA T32: Oncology Research Training for Surgeon-Scientists

Grants and Contracts Details


PROJECT SUMMARY This application is a competitive renewal of Translational Oncology Research Training for Surgeon Scientists, a transformative training program at the University of Kentucky (UK) designed for qualified trainees in the surgical disciplines and with an interest in oncology research. The program addresses critical national declines in the number of surgeon scientists engaged in cancer research through a two-year period of intensive, interdisciplinary mentored research training to prepare trainees to become independent scientists who are well prepared to incorporate state-of-the-art techniques learned during their training period into a successful academic research career. Trainees (2 each year) typically enter the program following completion of postgraduate year (PGY) 2 or 3 of their residency training or upon completion of the surgical residency and select either the basic science option (Track 1) or the healthcare delivery research option (Track 2). Opportunities in Track 1 span cell signaling, tumor biology, cancer progression and metastasis as well as evolving areas such metabolomics, oncogenomics and epigenetics. Track 2, a proposed new program component, provides training in cancer disparities, implementation science and population-level enquiry. In addition to an intensive research experience, trainees complete a Master of Science or PhD degree in clinical and translational sciences and supplement their coursework with further development through a combination of formal courses and professional skills development workshops and seminars in such areas as responsible conduct of research, reproducibility and manuscript and proposal development. Through regularly scheduled seminars and lectures available through the Markey Cancer Center, their departments and prominent UK centers, including the Center for Clinical and Translational Science, trainees engage in rich experiential and didactic learning that prepares them as active contributors to the types of multidisciplinary teams that are essential for the optimal treatment of the complex cancer patient. The requirement to successfully complete either a master’s or PhD degree adds depth and breadth to this program of training, broadening exposure to other UK scientists serving on thesis committees. The primary training faculty is composed of basic and population scientists and clinician-scientists, all of whom work collaboratively across disciplines; each primary faculty mentor is a recognized expert in his or her field and has a long record of research productivity in the training of young investigators. A “pipeline” mentor development mechanism allows us to develop promising early-career faculty members as mentors within our team-based mentoring approach. This program, which is committed to fostering diversity in the community of surgeon scientists, including women and those from underrepresented groups, has been highly successful in achieving its goals to address alarming declines in the number of active surgeon-scientists conducting oncology research. As a training faculty, we are passionate, motivated and committed to the training of future academic surgeons.
Effective start/end date7/1/116/30/24


  • National Cancer Institute: $387,890.00


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