UCLA Pre-Doctoral and Post-Doctoral Program in Molecular Genetic Epidemiology of Cancer (NIH/NCI T32 Training Program)

NIH/NCI T32 Training Program

The objective of the Cancer Epidemiology Training Program is to continue to implement an innovative, multidisciplinary, and collaborative research training program in molecular and genetic cancer epidemiology for five predoctoral and two postdoctoral trainees.

The Cancer Epidemiology Training Program has been training pre- and postdoctoral candidates in cancer epidemiology since 1975. From the beginning, the objective of the program has been to provide trainees with rigorous coursework and applied research experiences in cancer epidemiology, integrating epidemiology, statistics, and biology. Since 1999, the Cancer Epidemiology Training Program has emphasized both epidemiologic methodology and the molecular and genetic epidemiology of cancer. The Program is directed by Dr. Zuo-Feng Zhang, and co-directed by Dr. Roger Detels.

The Specific Aim of the program is to train up to five predoctoral and two postdoctoral trainees at any given year during the program cycle in an interdisciplinary program of cancer molecular genetic epidemiologic research leading to the M.S. (postdoctoral program only) and Ph.D. degrees in epidemiology. Postdoctoral trainees with prior doctoral training in epidemiology will develop and complete research projects under the mentorship of one of the key program faculty. The rationale of this training program is to provide the best possible training in epidemiologic methodology, which will prepare students for carrying out research on a wide range of health issues. Predoctoral trainees are to complete all courses required in epidemiology methodology, as well as additional courses in the application of epidemiology in cancer research, including cancer epidemiology, behavioral epidemiology, genetic modeling, molecular basis of cancer, and molecular epidemiology. The program provides an opportunity for students to learn genetic and molecular aspects of cancer and to apply their methodological skills in investigating problems related to cancer etiology, intervention and control. Ultimately, the training program will yield a core of strong methodologists with expertise in genetic and molecular cancer epidemiology. The administrative structure of the training program is shown in Figure 1.


Figure 1. Administrative Structure of the UCLA Cancer Molecular Epidemiology Training Program.

Administrative Structure of the UCLA Cancer Molecular Epidemiology Training Program


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