Penn State launches new cancer biology program

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State is launching a new program dedicated to cancer biology.

The program will focus on the molecular, cellular and translational aspects of cancer and is being offered as an emphasis area within the molecular cellular and integrative biosciences (MCIBS) doctoral program.

Adam Glick, professor of veterinary science, spearheaded the program’s development. “There are many faculty at University Park campus with research interests in cancer who are spread over a number of departments, but we haven’t had a program dedicated to cancer research at Penn State. Given the importance of this area of research, both at the basic science level and for finding cures for cancer, I hope that this program will attract top graduate students and give cancer research faculty a greater presence on campus.”

As part of the program, the University has partnered with oncologists at Mt. Nittany Cancer Care Partnership to offer a course called “Oncology: Bench to Bedside,” where graduate students will interact with physicians in both patient-oriented and teaching settings to see how cancer is diagnosed, imaged and treated, and how side effects of therapy are managed.

Edward Balaban, medical director for the cancer partnership, said he hopes the bench-to-bedside course will help to provide a better understanding of the clinical aspects of oncology and impact of cancer treatment on patients for students who are engaged in basic research.

Students in the program will also interact with faculty and students conducting cancer research at the College of Medicine through videocast journal clubs and seminars, as well as joint scientific programs run by the Penn State Cancer Institute.

The new program will be administered through the Huck Institute of Life Sciences as part of the MCIBS graduate program. Students in the cancer biology emphasis area will take a set of core courses with other MCIBS students and then specialized electives that focus on molecular cellular and translational aspects of cancer.

“This is an incredible time to be doing cancer research with so many real breakthroughs in treatment,” Glick said. “I hope that this new program, along with everything else that the Penn State Cancer Institute is doing, takes cancer research at Penn State to a new level.”

Last Updated December 12, 2017