Postdoctoral Training in Tumor Biology

smiling lab workerNumerous recent reports on science education and training have emphasized the importance of preparing young scientists for the real world. While hands-on research experience in a high-quality laboratory setting remains the central component of both pre-and postdoctoral training, there is also a need for formal training in areas such as ethics and scientific communication. In addition there is also a need for personalized career mentoring to assist trainees in the development of specific skills that will enable them to succeed in their chosen career path.

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Our comprehensive postdoctoral training program in cancer integrates three specific components:

  • Interactive research in the basic biology of cancer,
  • Formal and informal coursework in key areas, and
  • Individualized guidance in career development.

An individualized training program draws upon courses in scientific writing, teaching methodologies, scientific resources/technologies for cancer research, and ethics in science. This approach provides a solid foundation in the skills needed to succeed in a career science, as well as a focused research experience in basic cancer biology in a strong laboratory environment.

In addition, this program will provide opportunities to obtain support for the transition from postdoctoral trainee to independent cancer research scientist. Recognizing that there are many ways in which scientists can use their training in the battle against cancer, this program will provide information on nontraditional career paths. Our objective is to encourage individuals who choose not to pursue traditional research, but may wish to use their background in cancer research in other areas like science writing or public policy.

Trainees in this program will be exposed to the diversity of the Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center research scientists involved in a variety of multidisciplinary aspects of cancer research. Key components of the training program that foster strong collaborations and communication with the program faculty are:

The Interdisciplinary Research Survey Course, which introduces more than 60 faculty at the Medical Center and their research;

  • Weekly research seminars presented by Lombardi members;
  • Weekly Lombardi outside speaker seminar series; and
  • Weekly journal club.

The combination of components designed and developed for this program, along with Lombardi's extensive experience in cancer research and training, results in a unique, comprehensive postdoctoral training program that prepares young scientists for successful, productive careers in the fight against cancer.