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Cancer Biology T-32 Training Grant

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For additional information about the program or the application process, please contact:

Tierra Johnson, MS
Academic Program Specialist
University of Maryland Baltimore
School of Medicine

Toni M. Antalis, PhD
Professor of Physiology
University of Maryland Baltimore
School of Medicine

Curt I. Civin, MD
Associate Dean for Research
University of Maryland Baltimore
School of Medicine

The Cancer Biology T32 Training Program at the University of Maryland is a prestigious program designed to train predoctoral students and postdoctoral fellows in fundamental mechanisms of cancer biology at the molecular, cellular and organism levels. The program takes advantage of the multidisciplinary and highly interactive research environment within the University of Maryland Greenebaum Comprehensive Cancer Center and University of Maryland School of Medicine on the University of Maryland Baltimore campus to provide outstanding training in critical areas of basic and translational cancer research. A major goal of this multi-disciplinary program is to provide trainees with a stimulating academic environment that inspires interdisciplinary cancer research, including cutting-edge technologies enabling discoveries that will lead to next-generation diagnostics, specific therapeutics and effective preventives. Trainees will gain an appreciation for productive bidirectional translation between lab and clinic by participating in research and didactic sessions with interactive teams of basic, translational and clinical researchers.  Support for the program has been provided from a training grant from the NIH National Cancer Institute

Major advances in our understanding the complexity of cancer and tumor cell biology requires a quantitative understanding of the many interconnected networks of molecules that comprise our cells and tissues, their interactions, and their regulation. A collective strength of the investigators of this training program is the integration of multiple, diverse disciplines that encompass experimental approaches and didactic knowledge from biochemistry, cell biology, epidemiology, genetics, immunology, microbiology, pharmacology, molecular biology, pathology, and physiology, in addition to the clinical oncologic sciences that are involved in human cancer prevention, detection, diagnosis, and treatment. The goal of Cancer Biology training program is to provide an integrative research experience with appropriate mentoring and career guidance to facilitate the inter-relatedness of basic cancer research and clinical medicine. The T32 Cancer Biology program is designed to meet this objective through appropriate didactic and research components, interactive seminars and workshops, and professional development that should provide a solid foundation for a long term and successful career in cancer research.

The T32 Cancer Biology Training Program has positions for predoctoral students, postdoctoral fellows and for residents and clinical fellows interested in cancer research.

To be considered for a position on this training grant, the trainee should identify a faculty mentor and develop a research plan in conjunction with the mentor to be submitted with the application.

The award of a trainee slot on this grant is for a 1-year period, and is renewable by competitive application for a 2nd and possibly a 3rd year. Each year involves a competitive renewal with no greater assurance of funding for ongoing applicants than for new applicants. T32 supported trainees and mentors are expected to apply for individual competitive fellowships or for other cancer research grant support during their 1st or 2nd year in the program. All predoctoral and postdoctoral fellows supported by the Cancer Biology T32 training program will be encouraged to participate in didactic components, interactive seminars and workshops, and professional development to appropriate to their background, in order to provide a solid foundation for a long term and successful career in cancer research.

The levels of funding support from the T32 grant are mandated by NIH guidelines ( As appropriate, salary may be supplemented from other single or combined sources, such as research grants, professional fees, etc. Any such supplementary of salary (or benefits) beyond the maxima allowed by NIH guidelines for trainees is the responsibility of the trainee’s mentor, center/institute/program, and/or department, not the T32 Training Program. Health insurance and support for travel is provided. For M.D. trainees, support from the T32 Training Program provides ‘protected time’ for immersion in the laboratory and it is required that patient care responsibilities will be limited to <10% effort (one half day per week), primarily to help complete long-term patient care experience necessary for their subspecialties and to maintain patient-care skills.

Qualifications for Trainee slots:

  • All appointments to this training grant are restricted to U.S. citizens and permanent residents.
  • Applicants must be committed to cancer research.
  • Predoctoral applicants must be enrolled in GPILS (PhD or MD/PhD program) at the University of Maryland Baltimore. Students must have completed the required courses: GPLS 790 - Advanced Cancer Biology and GPLS 665 - Cancer Biology: From Basic Research to the Clinic.
    • An applicant may apply for an exception to this requirement. However, applicants may be required to take the course during the training period. 
  • Postdoctoral applicants must have completed doctoral level training (e.g. PhD, MD, MD/PhD, PharmD, DDS or equivalent). Evidence of scholarly productivity in the form of publications or planned publications is highly desirable. Trainees from clinical residence and fellowship training programs (e.g. Hematology/Oncology fellowship and Surgical residency programs) are encouraged to apply.

Expectations for T32 Cancer Biology Faculty Mentors:

  • T32 Cancer Biology Training Program faculty must operate their laboratories to focus on cultivating a supportive, inclusive research environment for students, postdoctoral fellows, junior faculty, technicians, and collaborators who all together contribute to the success of the laboratory.
  • Individualized development plans (IDPs) for trainees must be developed and reviewed on a regular basis to have trainees formulate their ideas and goals to allow tracking of progress, and to make adjustments to accelerate each person’s specific development.
  • T32 Training faculty are expected to encourage and support fellowship applications by trainees during their period of support- i.e. NIH F-grants, K-grants and Career Development awards.
  • Establishing goals with each trainee is a central feature of the T32 mentoring style, and thus together we will monitor and possibly reevaluate these goals during training to ensure that each person is able to complete their Ph.D. degrees or postdoctoral fellowships in a timely fashion with the skills, credentials, and experiences to transition into the workforce.
  • T32 Training faculty will be required to complete a mentor training course every 3 years, such as the Faculty Mentoring Workshops offered at UMB by Jenn Aumiller.
  • Each mentor of a funded trainee is required to co-lead one T32 Journal Club session per year.

Criteria for selection:

  • Academic excellence
  • Quality of the research project and training opportunity
  • Relatedness of the project and training opportunity to the cancer research field
  • Quality of the candidate
  • Quality of the mentoring
  • Evidence of the candidate’s research ability and potential
  • Relatedness of the candidate’s career goals to cancer research
  • Progress over the last year (for renewal applications ONLY)

 Your attachments must follow these minimum requirements:

  • All documents must be in PDF format unless otherwise stated (i.e., Progress Report). 
  • Font: Arial, Georgia, Helvetica and Palatino Linotype are all acceptable fonts.
  • Text size: Must be 11 points or larger.
  • Line spacing: Single-spaced
  • Use paper size no larger than standard letter paper size (8 ½" x 11”).
  • Provide at least one-half inch margins (½") - top, bottom, left, and right - for all pages. No applicant-supplied information can appear in the margins.

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Research by Faculty Members

Below is a list of faculty members along with the focus on their research. Click the name of a faculty member to see their faculty profile. Faculty profiles include detailed information and contact information.

Adebamowo, Clement A., MD Sc.D 
HPV associated cancers (cervical and head and neck cancer) and breast cancer

Adebamowo, Sally, MD Sc.D
Cervical and breast cancer epigenomics

Antalis, Toni, PhD
Regulation of proteolytic signaling pathways in cancer metastasis, and vascular biology

Bromberg, Jonathan, MD, PhD
Lymphocyte migration, trafficking, lymphoid organ and structure, T cell immunity and T cell tolerance

Cao, Xuefang, MD, PhD
T cell biology, tumor immunity and transplantation immunity

Carrier, France, PhD
Genotoxic stress, cancer progression, and radiobiology

Civin, Curt, MD
Cell and molecular biology of normal hematopoiesis and leukemia

Dunning Hotopp, Julie C., PhD 
Bacterial-animal lateral gene transfer; Integrations in the human cancer genome

Eckert, Richard, PhD 
Cancer stem cell survival factors as therapy targets for squamous cell carcinoma, melanoma, and mesothelioma

Gaykalova, Daria, PhD
Head and neck cancer, HPV, chromatin, splicing

He, Xiaoming, PhD
Development of multiscale (micro-nano-macro) technologies for delivery of cancer therapeutic agents

Jay, Steven, PhD 
Extracellular Vesicles; HER3-targeted protein therapeutics

Jewell, Christopher, PhD 
Immune engineering; synthetic materials, nano-technology

Kim, Anthony, PhD 
Development of translational nanomedicine for CNS diseases, brain cancers

Kontrogianni-Konstantopoulos, Aikaterini, PhD 
Obscurins in skeletal & cardiac myopathies and tumor suppressor role in breast cancer 

Lin, Jiayuh, PhD
IL-6 signaling in meduloblastoma and triple negative breast cancer

Mackerell, Alexander D. Jr, PhD 
Computational drug design: nucleic acids, proteins and carbohydrates

Martin, Stuart S., PhD 
Cytoskeletal  determinants of circulating breast tumor cell survival and metastasis

Melemedjian, Ohannes, PhD
Chemotherapy-induced mitotoxicity in sensory neurons

Njar, Vincent, PhD
Rational drug discovery of anti-cancer agents for breast, prostate and pancreatic cancers

O'Connor, Timothy, PhD 
Effects of evolution and population structure on genomic architecture of cancer

Olson, John, MD, PhD 
Mechanisms of tumor formation in primary hyperparathyroidism

Perkins, Darren, PhD
Anti-tumor immunity

Poulopoulos, Alexandros, PhD 
In vivo CRISPR genome editing

Qi, Jianfei, PhD 
Regulation of ubiquitin ligases and histone demethylases in prostate cancer

Qiu, Yun, PhD 
Signal transduction by tyrosine kinases in prostate cancer progression

Rassool, Feyruz V., PhD 
DNA damage and repair in cancer and leukemia

Rathinam, Chozha, PhD 
Stem cell biology

Shen, Jana, PhD
Computer-aided drug design, Kinase drug delivery

Singh, Nevil, PhD 
Immune activation, T cell tolerance; tumor immuno-therapy

Su, Lishan, PhD
Cancer immune therapy

Weber, David J., PhD 
Structure and function of calcium-binding proteins, cancer biology and drug design

White, Ian, PhD 
Extracellular vesicles and miRNA in cancer, biomarkers for early cancer diagnostics from liquid biopsies

Woodworth, Graeme, MD 
Molecular mechanisms of glioblastoma margin (GBM); drug delivery by focused ultrasound

Zalzman, Michal, PhD  
Control of telomere maintenance and cellular lifespan