Be on the forefront of drug development and treatment design

Investigate novel molecular targets for therapeutic intervention. Study the mechanisms of action and preclinical development of novel drugs. Optimize the use of existing drugs through combination therapy, repurposing, and imaging. Identify patient sub-populations and cancer types most likely to respond favorably to new approaches.

When you choose the Experimental Therapeutics PhD track at Roswell Park, you’ll conduct basic and translational research in the areas of cancer biology, drug development, and innovative cancer treatment.

We’re looking for a background in the sciences such as chemistry, biochemistry, cell biology, molecular biology, pharmacology, and/or bioinformatics. Some prior research experience is desirable but not required.

Track highlights

A diverse group of collaborative faculty members conduct research in the following broadly defined areas relevant to cancer therapeutics:

  • Identification of novel molecular targets for therapeutic intervention
  • Characterizing the mechanisms of action and preclinical development of novel drugs
  • Optimizing the use of existing drugs through combination therapy, re-purposing, imaging, and identification of patient sub-populations most likely to respond to treatment

Research questions are addressed using state-of-the-art experimental approaches in genomics, genetics, molecular biology, cell biology, imaging, biochemistry, and animal modeling.

Recent research highlights

Rb1 and Trp53 cooperate to suppress prostate cancer lineage plasticity, metastasis, and antiandrogen resistance.

Ku SY, Rosario S, Wang Y, Mu P, Seshadri M, Goodrich ZW, Goodrich MM, Labbé DP, Gomez EC, Wang J, Long HW, Xu B, Brown M, Loda M, Sawyers CL, Ellis L, Goodrich DW. Science. 2017 Jan 6;355(6320):78-83.

MicroRNA-141 suppresses prostate cancer stem cells and metastasis by targeting a cohort of pro-metastasis genes.

Liu C, Liu R, Zhang D, Deng Q, Liu B, Chao HP, Rycaj K, Takata Y, Lin K, Lu Y, Zhong Y, Krolewski J, Shen J, Tang DG. Nat Commun. 2017 Jan 23;8:14270.

Additional information about our research can be found on our individual faculty pages.

I began the Experimental Therapeutics PhD program at UB/Roswell Park in 2011. The program is challenging, but extremely rewarding. The knowledge, experience and relationships that I gained during my time in the program had a major influence on my life and have led to an exciting career in cancer research that I love.
Mark Long, PhD
Mark Long, PhD, 2016
Biomedical Informatics

Program of study

Course Code Course Name Credits
RPG501 LEC Integrated Cancer Sciences I 4
RPG502 LEC Integrated Cancer Sciences II 4
STA527 Introduction to Medical Statistics 4
RPG504 SEM Responsible Conduct of Research 1
RPG601 SEM First year Student Journal Club 2
RPG514 TUT Independent Study 4
Course Code Course Name Credits
RPG503 Integrated Cancer Sciences III 4
RPG543 Tools and Models of Molecular Oncology 3
RPG571 Cancer Pharmacology Topics 2
RPG573 SEM Graduate Seminar 1
RPG608 Graduate Research and if needed electives 9
Course Code Course Name Credits
RPG575 TUT Principles of Cancer Therapy 4
RPG571 SEM Cancer Pharmacology Topics 2
RPG573 SEM Graduate Seminar 1
RPG603 Basics in Grantsmanship I 1
RPG608 Graduate Research and if needed electives 11
Course Code Course Name Credits
RPG573 SEM Graduate Seminar 1
RPG603 Basics in Grantsmanship II 1
RPG608 Graduate Research and if needed electives 7
Course Code Course Name Credits
RPG608 Graduate Research 1, each semester
  SEM Graduate Seminar (attend, no registration needed)  

Other training activities

ET Seminar: Trainees participate in a weekly, mentored seminar series to promote excellence in scientific communication. After each presentation, trainees receive oral and written critiques from faculty and students.

Lunch with external speakers: The ET Track organizes several lectures per year delivered by prominent, external scientists. Trainees have the opportunity to meet with these speakers to discuss science, get career advice, and promote collaborations and networking.

Dave Lecture: Students in the ET Track select a highly impactful scientist to deliver the annual Dave Memorial Lecture. Students coordinate and organize all aspects of the guest’s visit. Recent Dave Memorial Lecturers include Robert A Weinberg, PhD (2012); Carol Prives, PhD (2013); Charles Sawyers, MD (2014); and Steven Fesik, PhD (2015).

How to apply

The next program year for doctoral study at Roswell Park is Fall 2021, and applications are due by January 6, 2021.

If you wish to apply after the January 6 deadline, you must contact education@roswellpark.org before submitting an application.

Contact us

Dean Tang, PhD
Professor of Oncology
Chair, Experimental Therapeutics Track
Chair, Department of Pharmacology & Therapeutics
Co-Director, Experimental Therapeutics CCSG Program
Barbara Foster, PhD
Professor of Oncology
Director, Experimental Therapeutics Graduate Program
Department of Pharmacology & Therapeutics

Program of Experimental Therapeutics
Medical Research Building, MRC 452
Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center
State University of New York at Buffalo
Elm and Carlton Streets
Buffalo, NY 14263

Telephone: 716-845-5759
Fax: 716-845-8857

Experimental Therapeutics Track
Attn: Judene Bliss
Center for Genetics & Pharmacology
Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center
Elm and Carlton Streets
Buffalo, NY 14263-0001