Cancer remains a major cause of death in the United States in the 21st century. Deaths from all cancers continue to decrease due to smoking cessation, improved surveillance and early diagnosis, and better treatments. Still, in 2011 more than 1.59 million new cases of cancer will be diagnosed, and over 570,000 people will die of cancer. Improving this picture will require improvements in cancer prevention, early diagnosis, and therapeutic interventions. The National Cancer Institute has recognized that multidisciplinary training in all aspects of cancer research will produce the next generation of cancer researchers who can approach this problem from diverse directions.
Huntsman Cancer Institute's Multidisciplinary Cancer Research Training Program (MCRTP), first established in 2002, supports two predoctoral trainees for up to three years and seven postdoctoral trainees for two years after a productive review of the first year's progress. To date, the MCRTP has funded 8 predoctoral, 16 MD or MD/PhD, and 30 postdoctoral trainees. The MCRTP centers on cutting-edge cancer-focused research in one of 61 mentor's laboratories representing 17 departments.
Research interests of participating faculty include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Cell motility, adhesion, and metastasis
- Developmental models of cancer
- Mitochondrial function and apoptosis
- Stem cells
- Metabolism and growth control
- Cell cycle
- Cytoskeleton and membrane trafficking
- Small molecule drug screening
- Clinical trials
Research is conducted in a collegial and cooperative environment that encourages interactions between researchers interested in basic mechanisms, translational research, and clinical medicine.