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Surgical Oncology Research Training Grant

Ronald P Dematteo

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National Institutes of Health (NIH)
We propose to continue our program to provide research training in oncology to young surgeons interested in a career in academic surgical oncology. Trainees will be surgical residents with at least 2 years of postgraduate clinical experience. Our Surgical Oncology Research Training Program has supported the research careers of approximately 50 young trainee surgeons over the past 25 years. We are now applying for funding of years 26-30. The goals of the two-year training program are to provide individuals with an intensive research experience in (1) hypothesis formulation, (2) experimental design, (3) data analysis, and (4) oral and written presentation. The ultimate objective of the program is to teach the scientific method and laboratory techniques so that the trainees can perform high quality independent research in oncology upon completion of their surgical training. This research experience will enable trainees to apply for positions as junior faculty members in academic institutions and become independent and mentored clinical investigators and translational researchers. The program will vary according to the interest of the trainees and their preceptors. The program curriculum is designed to provide exposure to basic and translational science, as well as medical oncology, radiation oncology and clinical surgical oncology. Past trainees have worked in a wide variety of disciplines, including tumor immunology, cancer cell biology, molecular genetics, molecular pathology, targeted therapeutics, and growth and differentiation. Close contact between the trainees, preceptors and program director has been achieved. Trainees are required to attend weekly conferences and didactic lectures at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) that include the fundamentals of research, research presentations as well as topics in clinical oncology. The scientific quality of research performed by the trainees has been outstanding, and most of the fellows in the past 10 years have remained in academia. The program continues to be a major commitment of the Department of Surgery and has benefited from the recent increase in research faculty and research facilities at our institution.

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