Training & Education

Cancer Research Training and Education Coordination (CRTEC)

The University of Colorado Comprehensive Cancer Center supports multidisciplinary education and training in the context of CU Cancer Center’s research and clinical mission through the development of novel programs, active participation in the training of mentees across a broad spectrum of educational stages including middle and high school students, undergraduates, post-baccalaureates, graduate students, medical students, residents, and fellows. We also provide career development activities for junior faculty (referred to as mentored members) and cancer-focused educational and training activities for cancer center members. 

We place a major emphasis on the integration of training and education activities with cutting-edge basic, population, and clinical cancer research undertakings. Furthermore, in close collaboration with the CU Cancer Center Community Engagement and Outreach Office, we put a unique focus on including and recruiting underrepresented populations to participate in education and training activities.

Mission, Vision, & Goals


Serve and improve the care of cancer patients by fostering the careers of cancer care providers, new investigators, and aspiring young scientists in cancer research, population science, and clinical care.


Educating and training the next generation of innovative leaders in translational, basic, clinical, and population science-related cancer research will conquer cancer.

Our Goals

Training & Education Opportunities

CRTEC is dedicated to training the next generation of scientists. Click below to find out more about our K-12 programming that provides exposure and real-world experiences for young students in the cancer biology field.

Training & Education Latest News

Introducing the 2023-2024 PIKE-PREP Scholars

The 2023-2024 cohort of PIKE-PREP Scholars have arrived on campus!

Preparation in Interdisciplinary Knowledge to Excel - Post-Baccalaureate Research Education Program (PIKE-PREP) is a mentoring and training program directed by Dr. Eduardo Davila and Dr. Carlos Catalano and administered by Dr. Adela Cota-Gomez and Shawndra Fordham, which helps underrepresented post-baccalaureates to gain research experience and other needed training to gain admission into top-tier PhD or MD/PhD programs.

This year's Scholars have started the year off strong with an informative and fun orientation day, during which we got to know this wonderful and talented group of people. The scholars were also introduced to their research lab teams and started to get familiar with their research projects, where an abundance of their time and effort will be focused on.

This year's PIKE-PREP Scholars are Anne Williams mentored by Dr. Gidon Felsen, Brooke Linden mentored by Dr. Eduardo Davila, Daniela Gonzalez-Rivera mentored by Dr. Michael Harris-Love, Jordan Swartz mentored by Dr. Matt Sikora, Kat Arce mentored by Dr. Rachel Friedman, Megan Hupka mentored by Dr. Kelly Doran, Olivia Ovard mentored by Dr. Diego Restrepo, Rebecca Han mentored by Dr. Manisha Patel, and Zoe Drigot mentored by Dr. Sarah Clark.

Alongside their research projects, the Scholars will also participate in career and professional workshops on a variety of topics that will help them advance their career training and will present at either the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minoritized Scientists (ABRCMS) conference or the Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics & Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) National Diversity in STEM Conference. We are excited and honored to be able to support them on their professional journeys this year.

PIKE-PREP Scholars 2023-2024

(Pictured: Top row left to right — Daniela Gonzalez Rivera, Kat Arce, Rebecca Han, Brooke Linden, and Zoe Drigot. Bottom row left to right — Megan Hupka, Anne Williams, Jordan Swartz, and Olivia Ovard)

CC2STEM Students Conducting Research on Campus

CC2STEM’s pilot cohort of students are finishing up a successful summer of research! Community College to STEM (CC2STEM) is a program that gives Community College of Aurora students the opportunity to have a high caliber mentored biomedical research experience. This program was founded by the CU-AMC Chapter of the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos and Native American Scientists (SACNAS), led by Katia Nino, PhD Candidate in the Molecular Biology Program and HHMI Gilliam Fellow, and is collaboratively funded by a CU-President’s DEI Award and the CRTEC office.

This year’s CC2STEM students are Shrostina Magar mentored by Dr. James DeGregory and Mariana Olono mentored by Dr. Eric Pietras. They are working with their mentors and lab teams to gain valuable experience in the biomedical sciences. CRTEC will continue to work with the SACNAS student chapter to secure external funding to expand this already amazing program.

Mariana Olano and Shrostina Magar

(Left Mariana Olono, Right Shrostina Magar)

LaCOTA Travel Award Recipients Present at Oncology National Conferences

This spring, five 2nd-year CU-SOM medical students received an amazing opportunity to present their cancer research nationally via the LaCamera Oncology Travel Awards (LaCOTA), thanks to funds generously donated by the LaCamera family specifically to support oncology training of CU-SOM medical students.

LaCOTA awards provided​ ​funding support for these medical scientists in training to present their research and participate in professional​ ​development activities at oncology-focused national conferences.

The five students who received the award in Spring 2023 were, Luis Barrientos, Jamie Burke, Bridget Foy, Sarah Shortall, and Caroline Walsh.

  • Luis Barrientos, mentored by Dr. Jessica L. Jack, presented his project titled “Receptiveness to Human Papillomavirus Vaccine Counseling and Administration During Dental Visits” at the Pediatric Academic Societies Conference.
  • Jamie Burke, mentored by Dr. Sarah Tevis, presented her research titled, “Safety net hospital patients face unique barriers to accessing care in addition to health and literacy challenges” at the American Society of Breast Surgeons Conference.
  • Bridget Foy, mentored by Dr. Sarah Tevis, presented her work on “The Usability of MedED: A Novel Patient Engagement Technology” at the American Society for Breast Surgeons Conference.
  • Sarah Shortall, mentored by Dr. Jessica L. Jack, presented her project on “Dental Professionals Perspective on Participating in a Medical Dental Integration Program to Promote and Administer HPV Vaccines” at the National Oral Health Conference.
  • Caroline Walsh, mentored by Drs. Julie Friedman and Christene Conageski, gave an oral presentation of her work on “Complementary and Alternative Medications for HPV Infections” at the American Society for Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology Conference.

Through the LaCOTA program, these medical students had the opportunity to present at prestigious national conferences and gain valuable oncology training experience. Please join us in congratulating these future oncology medical scientists.

LaCOTA Travel Award Recipients

Cancer Center Research Rangers (C2R2)

On Friday June 23rd, 2023, CRTEC hosted an amazing group of students from the Challenge Foundation to educate them about cancer research at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus through the Cancer Center Research Rangers (C2R2) program. The C2R2 program provides middle school students the opportunity to learn about cancer and cancer research through​ ​hands-on experiences.

C2R2 students got the opportunity​ ​to participate in interactive sessions, from seeing their own cells under a​ ​microscope to being able to see and touch lungs​ ​(simulated) that​ ​were affected by smoking. Through this program, C2R2 students learned about cancer basics,​ ​prevention, control and careers​ ​from highly experienced educators and researchers, Dr. Adela Cota​ ​Gomez, Dr. Kristin​ ​Schaller, Shawndra Fordham, Alexa Bauer, andBen Kooiman.​

Throughout the day, these amazing Rangers were​ ​very engaged and excited to learn from these experts, as well as participate in the hands-on activities​. ​This was a once in​ ​​a lifetime opportunity for these Rangers, and they gained valuable knowledge​ ​that we hope will carry with them​ ​throughout their lives.

Cancer Center Research Rangers

2023 Learn About Cancer Day

In February, we hosted around 100 local high school students to help them learn more about cancer research and cancer-related careers. Following an introduction to cancer presentation by John Tentler, PhD, students identified cancer-relevant genes during a DNA microarray lab hosted by the CRTEC office, participated in a simulated cancer-focused clinical trial designed and facilitated by Meredith Tennis, PhD, toured multiple cancer-research laboratories as well as shared resources facilities, and learned about cancer-related careers during a lunchtime career panel visit. It was a day filled with educational opportunities for students to connect their science understanding to relevant, cutting-edge science occurring right here at the CU Cancer Center.
Students participating in learn about cancer day

Cancer Center Student Symposium (C2S2)

The kick off of the Cancer Center Student Symposium (C2S2) was a huge success as Cancer Center Director, Dr. Richard Schulick, presented on cancer, cancer careers, his path and commitment to fighting cancer, and the importance of finding a mentor to nearly 50 Colorado  high school students.  C2S2 was created by the CRTEC office to connect the CU - Cancer Center with Colorado high school students and teachers through a monthly virtual symposium on cancer-focused topics. Click here to learn more or register to attend.

Richard Schulick, MD

Dr. Richard Schulick, Director, CU Cancer Center

CRTEC Leadership

Eduardo Davila, PhD, (PREP Co-Director)

Eduardo Davila, PhD

Program Co-Director

Adela Cota-Gomez, PhD

Adela Cota-Gomez, PhD

Assistant Director for Education Administration