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New cancer biology PhD program bridges basic scientists, clinicians and students

The School of Medicine and OHSU Knight Cancer Institute have launched a new PhD program in cancer biology. Basic scientists and clinicians – 21 primary and 34 adjunct faculty members – will teach the interdisciplinary program, putting the "bench to bedside" research philosophy into an educational context for cancer biology.

Translational medicine – which pairs research investigators with clinicians – will be central to the new program, which emphasizes both course work and extensive laboratory training in order to prepare students for careers in basic and applied cancer research. Training components include application of biotechnology to research and the dissemination of information to the next generation of scientists and lay public.

"Tomorrow's biomedical researchers should understand the importance of interdisciplinary work," said Allison Fryer, PhD, Associate Dean of Graduate Studies. "The new cancer biology PhD program will foster a spirit of collaboration, which is part of what makes research at OHSU so significant."

The research doctorate program is part of the School of Medicine's Graduate Studies Program in Molecular and Cellular Biosciences. The first students in the program began in September, and five to 10 new students are expected to begin the program each year.

Mathew Thayer, PhD, Professor, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, is the Director of the new cancer biology PhD program. Dr. Thayer is also a leader of the Knight Cancer Institute's cancer biology program. Here's what he had to say about the significance of the program:

NOTE: If you are having trouble watching this video, or can also be viewed at You Tube and on the Internal Knight News blog.

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