CINCINNATI—The University of Cincinnati (UC) College of Medicine has been awarded a highly competitive $2.3 million grant renewal from the National Cancer Institute to support pre- and post-doctoral training in cancer therapeutics—a branch of medicine that applies scientific knowledge to develop more effective treatment of human diseases.
The T32-Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award Institutional Training Grant provides funding to eligible institutions for development or enhancement of pre-doctoral and post-doctoral research training opportunities in biomedical and behavioral research. Less than 200 institutions across the United States were funded.
Based in the UC College of Medicine Department of Cancer Biology, the grant supports the Training Program in Cancer Therapeutics, a postdoctoral and graduate student training program that offers trainees the benefit of faculty mentorship from basic researchers and clinician-scientists, career development opportunities and practical learning experiences with mentors in over 12 departments across the UC College of Medicine and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.
"Our emphasis is on training the next generation of cancer researchers to translate basic science discoveries into improved patient care,” says Susan Waltz, PhD, co-principal investigator of the grant and professor of cancer biology at the UC College of Medicine.
"Scientists need to understand the action of therapeutic agents used in treatment and the challenges clinicians face in treating human cancers,” she adds. "Our trainees leave with an appreciation—and desire—for taking scientific discovery beyond the lab bench and to the patient’s bedside.”
UC’s five-year grant renewal will support up to eight trainees annually. Since receiving its initial funding in 2008, the training program has been able to provide support to 23 post-doctoral researchers and five graduate students. The program is co-directed by Waltz and Carolyn Price, PhD.
"This training serves as an important springboard for young scientists to secure funding and professional cancer research positions,” adds Price, co-principal investigator of the grant and professor of cancer biology at the UC College of Medicine.
Funding, Publications and Employment Results
During the first five years of funding, UC cancer therapeutics program trainees have published more than 70 scientific manuscripts, and seven trainees have obtained independent extramural research support from the National Institute of Health and U.S. Department of Defense.
"In addition, five of the postdoctoral trainees who finished the training program have either secured faculty positions at academic institutions or are leading projects in industry, including one trainee who is working at the biopharmaceutical company Human Genome Sciences,” adds Price.
Each cancer therapeutics program trainee is partnered with a faculty mentor to facilitate collaboration in a defined interest area; for example, hormonally based cancers. Applications to the program are accepted on an ongoing basis. More information is available at cancerbiology.uc.edu
or by contacting Waltz at firstname.lastname@example.org
"UC has a track record for producing highly sought after scientists—individuals who have a commitment to conducting meaningful science with the potential to impact clinical care,” says Jerry Lingrel, PhD, interim chair of the UC College of Medicine Department of Cancer Biology and associate director for basic science at the University of Cincinnati Cancer Institute. "Drs. Waltz and Price have built a strong roster of mentors that intertwine basic scientists with clinical mentors from across various UC departments as well as Cincinnati Children’s. The result is a success for both the trainees and the institution.”
The Training Program in Cancer Therapeutics is co-directed by Waltz and Price and is part of the University of Cincinnati Cancer Institute, one of four UC College of Medicine and UC Health disease-based partnerships to coordinate the organizations’ shared missions of research, patient care and education. Many UC Cancer Institute scientists and physicians are also part of the Cincinnati Cancer Center, a collaborative initiative of UC, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and UC Health. The center’s ultimate aspiration is to create a world-class comprehensive center leading in innovation to eliminate cancer.