New Cancer Biology Program Offered to Students
Cancer Biology is an academic discipline with a tangible end-point: improving the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of human cancers. The Graduate Program in Cancer Biology is one of the major programs of the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. It provides students, who are interested in pursuing a career in Cancer Biology, with rigorous training in Biochemistry, Genetics, Molecular and Cell Biology, as well as an understanding of the clinical aspects of these diseases.
The Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences and the Department of Cancer Biology are prepared to take cancer research at UMass Medical School to a new level with the establishment of the PhD Program in Cancer Biology. Working closely with physicians beginning early in their doctoral education, Cancer Biology students will conduct translational studies-basic scientific research with direct implications for improving clinical prevention, diagnosis and treatment of human cancers. "Exposing the next generation of cancer biologists to study of the disease itself early in their careers will lead to better scientific inquiries," explained Arthur M. Mercurio, PhD, professor and vice chair of Cancer Biology and the new PhD program's director.
The innovative curriculum features a first-year foundational course covering tumor pathology, cancer medicine and cancer biology, followed by advanced courses in these and other topics including biochemistry, genetics, and molecular and cell biology. Monthly conferences will bring together scientists, physicians and students to explore common interests and identify mutual goals for research, clinical trials and patient care.
Dr. Mercurio was recruited to UMMS in 2004 from Harvard Medical School and brings more than 20 years of experience in tumor cell biology to the new PhD program. His laboratory is currently studying the mechanisms that contribute to the metastasis, or spread of solid tumors like breast and colon cancers. Metastasis causes most of the morbidity and mortality associated with cancer and is thus a key target of Cancer Biology's translational research.
As an integral educational component of the UMass Memorial Cancer Center of Excellence, this program enables students to enhance their thesis research by participating in disease-based programs that bring together clinicians and basic scientists.
For further information please contact the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at (508) 856-4135,