Graduate Student Training Opportunities

The graduate program in Cancer Biology is an interdepartmental program that includes training in basic biomedical sciences with opportunities to apply clinical and translational research to studies on human cancer. Learn more about the T32 grants in the sectiong below:

Lung, Head and Neck T32

T32CA174648, “Training in Translational Research of Lung, Head and Neck Cancer

The Lung, Head and Neck (LHN) cancer training program (LHNTP) is a multi-disciplinary translational program with the mission to train the next generation of researchers and physician-scientists in LHN cancers. Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death, and head and neck cancer (HNC) is a high morbidity cancer type. Both cancers have a poor prognosis, share some common etiological factors (e.g., tobacco consumption) and therapeutic interventions. This T32 program was funded in 2013, rooted in the LHN program at the University of Colorado Cancer Center (UCCC). We fund postdoctoral fellows (Ph.D. and MD trainees) and graduate students who are passionate about their career goals as independent investigators or physician-scientists in LHN cancer research. We have designed didactic coursework for all trainees and clinical coursework for non-MD trainees to enhance the trainee’s scientific background and the translational aspect of our program in addition to laboratory training. The LHNTP aims to incorporate innovative and multi-disciplinary clinical and research expertise into our training; we have unique resources and expertise to significantly strengthen training for the next generation of basic- and physician-scientists dedicated to LHN cancer research. ​​​

Training in Cancer Biology T32

​The National Cancer Institute-funded Training Program in Cancer Biology (TPCB) trains graduate students and Postdoctoral Fellows in independent, mentored research focusing on all aspects of Cancer Biology. Mentors study a large breadth of tumors including cancers of the blood, lung, breast, prostate, salivary, ovarian, bladder, pediatric, colon, etc. 

Areas of research include: 

  • Basic mechanisms of oncogenesis
  • Cell death and survival pathways
  • Tumor evolution
  • Tumor immunology
  • Steroid signaling pathways
  • Genomics and genetics
  • Prognosis and targeted therapeutics. 

The TPCB is affiliated with the University of Colorado Cancer Center, the only NCI-designated comprehensive cancer center in the state.  This is a research-intensive training program.  Trainees will work with the mentor of their choice on a project at the cutting edge of contemporary cancer research. The CU Cancer Center has numerous state-of-the-art core resources available to all trainees in the program including functional genomics, imaging, sequencing, flow cytometry, biostatistics, etc. Trainees in the program will also participate in non-research training activities that are designed to build specific skills and facilitate professional development. These include organizing the annual TPCB post-doc research and career development symposium, a T32-specific journal club, career development workshops, a hypothesis development (grant writing) seminar, and a mentored clinical exposure experience. Trainees will have opportunities to attend national meetings and conferences. 

Cancer Immunotherapy and Experimental Therapeutics Program (CIETP) T32

The Cancer Immunotherapy and Experimental Therapeutics Program (CIETP) aims to train future oncology clinical providers and researchers in the most advanced and promising forms of immune-directed and cell therapy, by integrating those newly required skills into a training plan that addresses those unique needs. New challenges include a multitude of new agents under development, new mechanisms of action, a distinct toxicity profile mostly consisting of immune/autoimmune side effects, and the lack of patient selection or predictive markers for these therapies. The opportunity is to invent Developmental Therapeutics (DT) strategies that maximally exploit the power of immune-based therapy. Our vision for this proposed T32 is to create a training program and environment that will provide essential skills to clinical trainees while simultaneously providing them with the opportunity to contribute to developing the next generation of cancer therapies.

It is designed to offer trainees two alternative tracks depending on the profile of the candidate and their desired career path. The options are: 

  • Basic/Translational Science Track: mechanistic biology immunology laboratory project potentially with a translational focus.
  • Clinical Research Track: development of a novel clinical trial drawing upon immune-related therapies or approaches.