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department of pharmacology

 

Cancer Pharmacology Training Program


The Cancer Pharmacology Training Program (CPTP) is a multidisciplinary program designed for doctoral students and postdoctoral fellows who intend to pursue cancer research careers in a variety of basic or clinical science disciplines. The program addresses multiple aspects of cancer biology and therapy including molecular mechanisms of action of anti-cancer drugs, cellular responses to such agents, pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics, identification of novel drug targets, design and development of therapeutic and imaging molecules, generation of drug delivery systems, and testing of efficacy and safety of drugs. These aspects are studied at multiple levels from molecules to cells to laboratory animals and human patients.

Faculty mentors that participate in the CPTP have diverse complementary areas of expertise that encompass four major areas: (A) Cancer Biology, (B) Drug Design and Delivery, (C) Imaging, and (D) Cancer Systems Biology. To ensure an interactive multidisciplinary training, each trainee has two mentors which are selected from two of the four major areas.

Faculty mentors that participate in the CPTP are members of the Departments of Pharmacology, Pathology, Genetics, Nutrition, Cell biology, Chemistry, Biochemistry, Biomedical Engineering and Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences. The program is closely affiliated with the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Doctoral Trainees

There are several paths through which predoctoral students can be admitted to the CPTP.

  1. The Biomedical Sciences Training Program (BSTP), a common core program for first year PhD students in the biomedical sciences at Case Western Reserve University.
  2. The Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) of the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, the port of entry for MD-PhD training of students who aspire to become physician-scientists. Students in the MSTP complete the first two years of medical school, enter the PhD research phase for approximately 4 years, and return to two clinical years of medical school.
  3. Prospective students may apply for direct admission to individual graduate programs involved in the CPTP.

Most relevant to the CPTP are the graduate programs of the Departments of Pharmacology, Pathology, Genetics, Nutrition, Cell biology, Chemistry, Biochemistry, Biomedical Engineering, Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences and Systems Biology and Bioinformatics. Each of the Graduate Programs has specific curriculum requirements. Trainees in the CPTP also complete core courses in Pharmacology and in Cancer Biology, and they participate in seminar series specifically designed for trainees in cancer research.

Predoctoral students complete three 10-week long laboratory rotations prior to choosing their two research mentors. These laboratory rotations provide students with the opportunity to experience different laboratory environments and experimental approaches. Students choose two Dissertation Advisors by the end of the first academic year.

All students matriculating in the CPTP receive a full tuition and fees along with student health benefits and a monthly stipend for living expenses.

Postdoctoral Trainees

Postdoctoral trainees spend a minimum of two and a maximum of three years in the program. They participate in seminar series specifically designed for trainees in cancer research. Post doctoral trainees may be required to complete core courses in Pharmacology and in Cancer Biology if their background does not include such courses. Specific requirements are set by the advisory committee in consultation with the mentors.

Postdoctoral trainees conduct research under the guidance of two faculty mentors from different program areas. Both mentors serve on Thesis committees of their pre-doctoral trainees. Post-doctoral trainees have an advisory committee composed of the two research mentors and two additional members selected from program faculty. The advisory committees monitor the progress of the trainees as well as address their curricular needs.

As part of their training, post doctoral fellows are required to prepare an NIH-format grant application. Using this proposal as a base, postdoctoral trainees apply for funding to appropriate agencies or foundations.

For further information about the Cancer Pharmacology Training Program, contact the program director:
Noa Noy, PhD
Department of Pharmacology
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University
10900 Euclid Avenue
Cleveland, OH 44106-4965
noa.noy@case.edu