Cancer Research Careers
Impressive progress has been made over the past 30 years, yet cancer remains one of the most complex and challenging problems of biomedical research. For this reason, cancer research is a key area of research at UNMC. The Cancer Research Doctoral Program, offered through the Eppley Institute for Research in Cancer and Allied Diseases, is the cornerstone of a National Cancer Institute-supported Cancer Biology Training Program at UNMC. The Cancer Research Doctoral Program is one of the seven programs within the Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Biomedical Sciences (IGPBS) and includes over 100 faculty from the Eppley Institute and other basic and clinical departments within UNMC.
Get more information on the program.
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Learn more about the application process.
Cancer Research Doctoral and MD/PhD Program Curriculum
The IGPBS - Cancer Research doctoral program provides broad-based training in all aspects of cancer biology, equipping students to use cutting-edge experimental approaches to address the molecular basis of cancer, as well as the means of enhancing the detection and treatment of cancer. Learn more about the IGPBS - Cancer Research doctoral program curriculum here.
GRE Admissions Requirement
The GRE is not required for IGPBS applicants, both domestic and international. However, if an applicant chooses to submit GRE scores, the scores will be considered during application review.
If you choose to submit a GRE, the minimum GRE requirements that we are looking for are: a 50% average between the verbal and quantitative scores, with no less than 35% in either category.
Wondering how to prepare to be the best applicant you can be?
To help high school and undergraduate students know how to best prepare themselves for applying to graduate school, we have created a checklist. The checklist can be downloaded here, if you have any questions as you prepare to apply email us.
Cancer researchers at UNMC are engaged in work that addresses the root causes of cancer, as well as the means of enhancing the detection and treatment of cancer. This research employs a wide range of animal and cellular model systems, includes both basic and translational research, and focuses heavily on the molecular basis of cancer. As a result, Cancer Research Doctoral Program students receive broad-based training in all aspects of cancer biology and employ cutting-edge experimental approaches in their research.
Supported in part by a Training Grant from the National Cancer Institute, this innovative program trains future scientists to approach cancer research knowledgeably and creatively and to enter careers in which they can make a significant contribution. Cancer Research Doctoral Program students work in state-of-the-art laboratories and participate in important cancer research with nationally and internationally renowned scientists while pursuing a PhD in Cancer Research. Cancer Research Doctoral Program graduates are highly recruited for postdoctoral work in top laboratories at universities, government laboratories, and private industry.
Causes of Cancer
This area of research includes evaluation of the genetic and environmental factors that contribute to cancer incidence, as well as cancer prevention. Research efforts related to this area of inquiry include:
- Functional genomics
- DNA damage & repair
- Nutrition and cancer
- Environmental risk factors
- Cancer genetics
- Animal models of cancer
Molecular and Cellular Characteristics of Cancer
This research is focused in the differences in molecules and cells that help define cancer. The following avenues are taken in research at the molecular level:
- Gene expression
- Signal transduction
- Structural biochemistry
Diagnostics and Therapeutics
State-of-the-art technology couples with cutting-edge cancer research at UNMC to identify new ways of diagnosing and treating cancer. Several research innovations are used, including:
- High-throughput screening for novel anti-tumor drugs
- Analysis of unique clinical cancer resources
- Identification of new cancer biomarkers
Courses and Other Education Opportunities
- Special topic courses on grant writing and seminar presentation skills
- Translational cancer research
- Attendance at discussions of cancer cases by oncologists
- Participation in interdisciplinary clinical/basic cancer research groups
- Professor (at major research medical centers and at smaller teaching-oriented colleges)
- Senior Licensing Specialist (a position that involves working out agreements between academic laboratories and pharmaceutical industries to commercialize new cancer-related discoveries)
- Assistant Director of a Clinical Molecular Oncology Laboratory
- Director of Bioengineering for a global biopharmaceutical company
- Scientific Director at a company specializing in health-related media communications
- Postdoctoral Fellow (including positions at Yale, Johns Hopkins, Mayo Clinic, Harvard, and MD Anderson Cancer Center, etc.)
- Clinical Instructor
- Medical Resident (focusing on Pathology, Radiation Oncology, or other specialties)