The T32 training program in Cancer Biology at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute was first awarded in 1979, and over the past 36 years has grown and evolved along with the Institute. At this time, this program serves as the basic science training vehicle for the NCI’s largest Comprehensive Cancer Center, the DFHCC (Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center).
The research conducted at DFHCC has led to substantial contributions in the field on oncology therapeutics, such as Gleevec, Iressa, Herceptin and Avastin. DFHCC is composed of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School, the Harvard School of Public Health, and the four major teaching hospitals in the greater Boston area: Massachusetts General Hospital, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital and Boston Children’s Hospital.
DFHCC is organized into a matrix of ten disease and eight discipline-based programs allowing trainees in our T32 Targeting Tumor Cell Biology Training Program to be exposed to a wide variety of oncology disciplines. Our basic scientists fall into one of two discipline-based programs, Cancer Cell Biology or Cancer Genetics. These organizational relationships foster interaction and collaboration between basic scientists, clinicians and population scientists that have led to shared grants, collaborative research leading to publications together, and joint symposium and retreats.
Our T32 training program Targeting Tumor Cell Biology embeds basic scientists into the disease-based programs of a working Cancer Center, and provides funding support and training in essential laboratory and analytic skills, and in career skills necessary for success. This approach provides the motivation for young scientists to address the cancer problem and an understanding of the complexities of human cancer biology, together with training in developing and deploying cutting edge science. Future scientists also require specialized preparation in career skills, including scientific writing and presentations, laboratory management, teaching, responsible conduct of research, and the regulatory needs for drug development. The DFHCC provides this needed mixture of a working Cancer Center, an outstanding scientific environment, and dedicated career mentoring.