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.

CRTEC’s education and training initiatives for undergraduate and post-baccalaureate students engage scientific curiosity in the next generation by providing opportunities for students to explore future careers in cancer research while fueling the biomedical research pipeline. Click below to find out more about our undergraduate and post-baccalaureate programming.

CRTEC supports the education and training of graduate, medical, and postdoctoral students through the organization and facilitation of the Cancer Symposium Seminars and Colloquiums, dissemination of relevant training and grant opportunities, assisting with cancer-relevant training grants, and providing funding for training courses and innovation grants. Click below to learn more about the programming for graduate, medical, and post-doctoral students.

CRTEC supports Junior Faculty, referred to as Mentored Members, by organizing and facilitating the Cancer Symposium Seminars and Colloquiums, providing quarterly meetings and workshops, assisting with grant writing, and dissemination of grant and training opportunities. Click below to learn more about programming for mentored members.

The Cancer Center hosts a symposium series each week during the fall and spring semesters that is organized and facilitated by CRTEC. In these symposiums, our Cancer Center members and students, learn about current research occurring in the field of Cancer Biology. Scientists from the CU Cancer Center in addition to distinguished researchers brought in from across the nation present their research at the seminars.

These CME-accredited seminars are held on Tuesdays from 12:00 - 1:00 pm MST in either a virtual or hybrid format as a live web conference with a Q&A session during the last 15 minutes. When COVID restrictions allow, pizza lunch is provided for those attending in person.

For the schedule of the upcoming Cancer Symposium Seminars:

Can’t attend a symposium session you are interested in? Most of the symposium sessions are recorded (with permission of the speaker) and posted on the Cancer Center Symposium Series YouTube Channel

Training & Education Latest News

Cancer Innovation Pilot Grant

Innovation Grants flyer

Are you in a post-baccalaureate training program, a nursing, medical, MS, or PhD graduate student, a post-doctoral investigator or an early career-faculty member doing cancer research or wanting to start a new cancer research project and need seed money for it?  If so, we encourage you to apply for a Cancer Innovation Pilot Grant. Projects addressing cancer health disparities or community-engaged research are highly encouraged. 

Read more about the Cancer Innovation Pilot Grants and see how to apply in the flier or visit THIS PAGE. You don’t want to miss this opportunity, the application deadline is July 3, 2024. 

CRTEC Hosts the Southwest Regional Research Symposium

CRTEC Hosts the Southwest Regional Research Symposium group photo

The first annual Southwest Undergraduate to Graduate Pathways Research Symposium (SW U-GRAPH) held March 22-23, 2024, at the AMC was a great success. CU PIKE-PREP (Preparatory in Interdisciplinary Knowledge to Excel – Postbaccalaureate Research Education Program) welcomed scholars from the University of Oklahoma, University of New Mexico, and University of Utah.  Scholars gave oral presentations, Andrielle Finch, University of Utah and two PIKE-PREP scholars from the AMC, Zoe Drigot and Kaitlyn Arce, were recognized for their outstanding oral presentations. Attendees of the symposium were enlightened by keynote speaker Dr. Richard McGee, Northwestern University who spoke about his research on the differentiation of young biomedical scientists into critical careers. The Symposium presented several panels, one being a virtual panel of the American Cancer Society (ACS) and the National Institute of Health (NIH). Other panel subjects were Biomedical Careers in Industry, Scientific/Medical Writing Careers and Law Careers in Biomedical Science.  The PIKE-PREP team led by Dr. Eduardo Davila and Dr. Carlos E. Catalano hosted the event and look forward to next year ‘s SW U-GRAPH 2025.

CONGRATULATIONS! Anschutz Hispanic Serving Institute (HSI) Committee

Thanks in part to the dedication, commitment, and energy of CRTEC Assistant Director, Dr. Adela Cota-Gomez, the CU President’s DEI Grant was awarded to the Anschutz HSI Committee for the inauguration of the annual Latiné Excellence Symposium. The symposium is a joint effort of all schools on the Anschutz campus and is the foundation of the Anschutz HSI Committee and the committee’s base to elevate the educational and professional experience for everyone on campus. The Anschutz HSI Committee diligently worked on the grant to provide programming in the form of the Latiné Excellence Symposium that will be  a half-day event in honor of Anschutz Medical Campus Latiné Excellence, highlighting Latiné leaders, faculty, students, staff and community partners that demonstrate excellence in their field and contribute to creating an environment of true “servingness” on the AMC, who will be recognized with the Con Ganas award. There will be talks by the awardees and a keynote address by a renowned Hispanic Servingness scholar Dr. Gina Ann Garcia a world-recognized researcher on equity and justice in higher education.

CU Cancer Center Receives ACS Diversity in Cancer Research Training Grant

We are excited to share that our American Cancer Society Diversity in Cancer Research (ACS DICR) grant was awarded! The ASCENT program (Advancement of Scholars in Cancer Education aNd Training) will offer a multi-dimensional mentoring and cancer research training experience to inspire and prepare post-baccalaureate students from historically underrepresented groups to enroll and succeed in a top-tier PhD or MD-PhD program and commit to cancer research careers. This funding will support four postbaccalaureate students in a two-year mentored research experience.

Learn more about the ASCENT program

Climbing the mountain together (ASCENT program)

PIKE-PREP Scholars Recognized at Fall Science Conferences

PIKE-PREP Scholars Brooke Linden, Zoe Drigot, and Rebecca Han were recognized for their Outstanding Poster Presentations at the 2023 Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minoritized Scientists (ABRCMS). At the conferences the scholars were able to share their science and network with other trainees and scientists with similar research interests. Congratulations on a job well done!

  • Brooke Linden (Left): Outstanding Postbaccalaureate Poster Presentation in Immunology for her presentation titled, Redirecting anti-tumor immune responses using engineered CD1d-restrictred T cell receptor (TCR) T cells in acute myeloid leukemia
  • Zoe Drigot (middle): Outstanding Postbaccalaureate Poster Presentation in Immunology for her presentation titled, The differential impact of airway Prevotella species on neutrophil activation and Streptococcus pneumoniae infection
  • Rebecca Han (right): Outstanding Postbaccalaureate Poster Presentation in Physiology and Pharmacology for her presentation titled, Translocator Protein Ligands Inhibit Neuronal Excitability in Primary Neuronal-Glial Cultures

Learn more about the PIKE-PREP Scholars

Pike-Prep Scholars Brooke Linden, Zoe Drigot, and Rebecca Han

Fall 2023 Learn About Cancer Day

Fall 2023 Learn About Cancer Day

On September 28, 2023, we hosted 50 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 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 and career paths during a lunchtime student trainee 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.

The next Learn About Cancer Day will be this spring, April 5, 2024. Learn more

Cancer Center Student Symposium (C2S2)

Dr. Adela Cota-Gomez will kick off the 2nd Annual Cancer Center Student Symposium (C2S2) on October 12th, 2023. This year’s monthly presentations will include presentations from pre- and post-doctoral trainees from the various cancer center research programs. Last year’s C2S2 was a huge success with over X # of high school students attending throughout the year. This year, students who attend 6 of the 7 sessions will earn a certificate of completion. The CRTEC Office created C2S2 to connect the CU - Cancer Center with Colorado high school students and teachers through a monthly virtual symposium on cancer-focused topics.

Learn more / Register

Cancer Center Student Symposium (C2S2)

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

Jill Penafiel

Jill Penafiel

Education and Program Manager

Shawndra Fordham, MEd

Shawndra Fordham, MEd

Education and Outreach
Program Developer

Annette Hall

Annette L. Hall

Administrative Assistant II

Lexi Bauer

Lexi Bauer

Student Assistant

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