The mentor assumes the major role in providing research training. The fellow works most closely with their principal advisor, but may also collaborates with other faculty members who are often from outside of the Division. For physician-trainees, selection of a mentor is done by the trainee and the program director after consultation with the training faculty. Fellows may choose research mentors from among the training faculty who interact in the program. These physician-investigators and basic scientists collaborate in seven research programs composed of Prevention and Control, Experimental Therapeutics, Hormones and Cancer, Immunology, Molecular Biology and Cancer Genetics, Molecular and Cellular Carcinogenesis and RNA Oncogenic Viruses. Research within these programs ranges from basic to clinical, but all have the goal of improving cancer treatment and prevention and are committed to translating research advances between the bench and the bedside.
Fellows have ample research opportunities within the network of collaborative studies ongoing between training and contributing faculty. In developmental therapeutics, for example, studies on drug resistance involve basic scientists in the College of Pharmacy, the College of Biological Sciences and the College of Medicine and Public Health, as well as physician-scientists in the Division. This type of focused research, to which faculty with different backgrounds and perspectives contribute their expertise, characterizes the stimulating research environment open to trainees.
Faculty involved in this training program make major contributions to national research groups including the Cancer and Leukemia Group B (CALGB) co-operative group, the American Society of Hematology (ASH), the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), the American Association of Cancer Research (AACR), the AIDS Malignancy Consortium, as well as several other subspecialty societies. Thus, trainees are encouraged to be involved, which has a major impact on cancer care in national and international research trials and collaborations, and present their findings at national meetings.