Education and Training
The Education and Training Program in the CDU/UCLA Cancer Center Partnership is dedicated to training undergraduate, graduate, and medical students, as well as fellows, and early stage investigators to cancer research training, encourage them to pursue or advance their careers in this area, and implement a formalized mentorship program, whereby junior research investigators are counseled and mentored through their career development. The Division of Cancer Research and Training which houses the CDU Partner of the CDU/UCLA Cancer Center has to date, under the lead of Dr. Vadgama has had the opportunity to mentor over 50 postdoctoral fellows and 13 clinical residents, more than 20 graduate or medical students (mostly underrepresented), more than 120 undergraduate students across the nation, and several high school students. Many of the students, are on a positive trajectory to further their careers. For example, several of the undergraduate trainees have successfully matriculated into graduate or medical school and several post-doctoral fellows have received faculty appointments as Early-Stage Investigators.
The program has several categories of internships for different levels of researchers including the Undergraduate Cancer Research Training Program (UCRTP) which is a summer-intensive internship.
The summer UCRTP program is 8-12 week full time experience for 10-12 outstanding underrepresented or underprivileged undergraduate students who are interested in pursuing careers in biomedical sciences and have an interest in health disparities. Trainees accepted into the program are matched with a Faculty mentor at CDU or UCLA and will participate in research with a hypothesis-driven cancer health disparities question. In addition to hands-on research training, students will participate in weekly Cancer Journal Club at CDU which is a CME accredited series dedicated to cancer health disparities research in the basic, clinical and community sciences. Trainees will receive instruction from their mentors and the UCRTP regarding careers in biomedical sciences and careers serving the underserved. Additional training will include development and preparation of a research thesis, and formal presentations at lab meetings, and the Cancer Journal Club at CDU.
The goal of the UCRTP is to ensure that each undergraduate student acquires the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to become a proficient researcher in cancer research and disparities. On completion of the program, each undergraduate trainee will have developed a research paper based on the findings of the ancillary project to be given to his or her lead mentor for evaluation and feedback. Students will then present their findings before a local or national conference, to be determined by the student’s lead mentor.
The goal of the UCRTP is to ensure that each undergraduate student acquires the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to become a proficient researcher in cancer research and disparities. On completion of the program, each undergraduate trainee will have developed a research paper based on the findings of the ancillary project to be given to his or her lead mentor for evaluation and feedback. Students will then present their findings before a local or national conference, to be determined by the student's lead mentor.
Jacob De La Torre
POST BACCALAUREATE, GRADUATE, OR MEDICAL STUDENT RESEARCH INTERNSHIPS
The Partnership hosts 3-5 highly competitive and dedicated trainees from Post-baccalaureate, Nursing/ Graduate and Medical programs for a quarterly to year-long internship. Students must demonstrate a deep commitment to underserved populations and genuine interest in cancer health disparities interest. Furthermore, they must be able to commit at least 5-10 hours a week to the internship and have approval from their respective programs to participate. Trainees accepted for this internship will be matched with a Faculty mentor and develop a hypothesis driven cancer disparities research project. Trainees will have the opportunity to prepare weekly research reports, a final research manuscript/thesis, and formal presentation for the Cancer Journal Club. Trainees will also have the benefit of participating in the CME accredited Cancer Journal Club series which hosts leaders in cancer health disparities research from basic, clinical, and community sciences. Several of the most outstanding former students have also had the opportunity to participate and present at national meetings including the American Association for Cancer Research.