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Johns Hopkins University — Predoctoral and Postdoctoral Training Program in Nanotechnology for Cancer Research

Johns Hopkins University

Principal Investigator: Denis Wirtz, Ph.D.

Training Focus and Objectives

The interface between nanotechnology and medicine is a new frontier for scientific exploration and for the creation of new and improved diagnostic and therapeutic tools to detect, treat, cure, and prevent human diseases. We offer an integrated predoctoral and postdoctoral training program in nanotechnology for cancer research (NTCR) that is positioned at this interface. This program fosters predoctoral and postdoctoral fellows who are trained across disciplines to lay foundations for technologies that enable an inside-view of cancer cell functions as opposed to the limited black-box input-output techniques currently used, introduce new modalities for molecular imaging, develop new high-throughput diagnostic tools, and engineer novel drug/antibody/siRNA viral and non-viral delivery systems to treat human cancers. NTCR fellows develop novel cancer diagnostics to evaluate each individual patient's prognosis and optimal treatment, based upon the patients' genetic and epigenetic markers and disease phenotype and therapeutics that are selected and optimized for each individual patient. NTCR trainees take one of two core courses depending on their background, as well as a lab course in cancer nanobiotechnology. They participate in a journal club and a dedicated annual symposium, as well as clinical conferences and tumor boards. The NTCR program recruits outstanding trainees every year with MD and/or PhD degrees and diverse backgrounds in either biochemistry, physics, molecular / cellular / cancer biology, or an engineering/physics discipline for a steady state number of 2 postdoctoral and 6 predoctoral fellows. NTCR fellows take advantage of research and clinical resources at the NCI-designated Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center, the Ludwick Center for Cancer Genetics and Therapeutics, The Sol Goldman Pancreatic Cancer Center, and the In Vivo Cellular and Molecular Imaging Center, as well as the unique educational resources and experimental facilities of the recently established Johns Hopkins Institute for NanoBioTechnology (INBT), which houses the center for cancer nanotechnology excellence (CCNE) and the physical sciences-oncology center (PSOC).

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