CRTEC is devoted to training the next generation of researchers and scientist clinicians. Research shows that student career aspirations begin to form during secondary school and extracurricular science experiences have a strong formative impact on student interest in science and the development of a science identity. This can impact students’ future career goals. As such, CRTEC strives to develop partnerships and programs that provide real-world experiences and exposure for students in the field of cancer research.
Some of the programs facilitated or supported by CRTEC include Learn About Cancer Day, Cancer Center Research Rangers (C2R2), Cancer Center Student Symposium (C2S2), and the Emerging Cancer Research Scientist Program. We also have a partnership with the staff and students at the STEM school located adjacent to the Anschutz Medical Campus, Aurora Science and Technology (AST), to provide guest speakers and science sessions for their after-school programming and serve on their advisory board.
Learn About Cancer Day is a day-long seminar that includes a tour of a research laboratory at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. The event serves high school students from the metropolitan Denver area. Learn About Cancer Day is offered to approximately 120 students per event and is typically held each year in February.
The goal of Learn About Cancer Day is to ignite students' interest in biomedical fields, specifically cancer-related research, and to increase community awareness of the University of Colorado Cancer Center's capabilities as a research and therapeutic center.
Participants are exposed to short lectures on multiple aspects of cancer such as biological mechanisms, prevention, epidemiology, methods of diagnosis and staging, including profiling, bioinformatics, and types of therapy.
Interspersed with the lectures, small groups of students tour scheduled research labs to speak one-on-one to technicians, graduate students, or faculty members for one hour.
→ Learn About Cancer Day Inspires Local High School Students to Pursue Careers in Science and Research
Cancer Research Training and Education Coordination at CRTEC@cuanschutz.edu
Faculty Sponsor: John Tentler, PhD
The C2R2 Cancer Center Research Rangers program is an exploratory program for local middle school students to come to the CU Anschutz Campus to learn more about cancer research and the biomedical sciences through interactive programming and laboratory investigations. In addition, our programming includes important education related to cancer prevention and screening and the harmful effects of tobacco use.
CRTEC organizes and facilitates monthly symposiums during the fall and spring semesters where our Cancer Center members and trainees give talks about their research or on important science-related topics for local high school students and teachers.
These one-hour after-school presentations are held in a virtual format with a Q & A session during the last 15 minutes.
Once a year, CRTEC recognizes an outstanding emerging young scientist (high school or undergraduate) that has performed cancer-related research. The student is invited to CU-Anschutz Medical Campus to present their research to Cancer Center members and graduate students, tour a research laboratory, visit with our scientists, and attend a Cancer Center Symposium Session.
Our first Emerging Scientist is Daniel Grammer. Daniel was a high school senior at Rock Canyon High School (RCHS) in Douglas County School District. Using the biotechnology laboratory at the school, Daniel independently designed an investigation to test the effects of PARP Inhibitor Treatment Using RIN-m Beta Islet Cells with Insulinoma. Not only did Daniel come up with the idea for this research on his own, he learned to perform cell culture on these cells and conducted the entire experiment in the RCHS biotechnology laboratory which has the equipment needed to perform cell culture.
Daniel’s experiment was not without challenges. During his experimental trials the school had numerous weather-related closures and one shut down due to a teacher strike. He also encountered equipment issues and had to calibrate a new CO2 incubator. He persevered through all of this and was able to gather enough data to answer his research question.
Daniel is a remarkable young scientist who CRTEC is proud to honor as our first Emerging Cancer Scientist.
In addition to the CRTEC developed and facilitated educational programming, cancer center members are involved in other K-12 educational outreach programming including CU Science Discovery, eCLOSE, and Think Like a Scientist.