Join us at the forefront of cancer research

Study the mechanisms involved in cell cycle control. Investigate genes and pathways that contribute to tumorigenesis. Define new biomarkers for better diagnosis and risk assessment. Identify novel targets for therapeutic intervention.

When you choose the Cancer Genetics, Genomics, and Development PhD track at Roswell Park, you’ll focus on laboratory research, with a thesis project involving independent research at the frontiers of current knowledge.

We have both a large, friendly faculty and a high faculty-to-student ratio. We’re looking for dedicated students with substantial background in biology and chemistry,

Track highlights

The Cancer Genetics, Genomics, and Development Track emphasizes cutting-edge basic and translational research, performed with outstanding scientific rigor and reproducibility, leading to high quality publication of students’ work.

We stress critical evaluation of published data through our journal clubs and acquisition of oral communication skills through seminar courses. You’ll also participate in professional development by attending international conferences and presenting your research.

Research areas

Faculty research interests cover a broad spectrum of cancer genetics and molecular biology, with exceptional strengths in:

  • Isolation and characterization of cancer genes
  • Somatic cell genetics
  • High-throughput genomics and epigenomics
  • Mouse genetics and mouse models of cancer
  • Epigenetic and cell cycle regulation in cancer
  • Oncogenic signaling pathways and metabolic changes in cancer

First author articles from recent graduates:

Student Year Graduated Mentor First Author Publication
Hayley Affronti 2018 Dr. Smiraglia
Charles Manhardt 2018 Dr. Lau
Laura Prendergast 2019 Dr. Gurova
Sejin Chung 2019 Dr. Knudsen
Eric Irons 2019 Dr. Lau
Patrick Punch 2020 Dr. Lau
Ashley Mussell 2020 Dr. Shang
Spencer Rosario 2020 Dr. Smiraglia

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

The educators, mentors and students at Roswell support and push each other to be the best they can be. They work to generate a sense of community that is open, inclusive, and encouraging all while performing some of the most translational research. The small class size and outstanding education you receive at Roswell provides a stimulating learning experience that lays an excellent foundation for your success as a scientist in cancer research. Hayley Affronti, PhD, Class of 2018

Program of study

Fall - 19 credit hours

  • Integrated Cancer Sciences I/II (4 credit hours each = 8 credit hours)
  • Introduction to Medical Statistics (STA 527) (4 credit hours)
  • Responsible Conduct of Research (RPN 541) (1 credit hour)
  • First-Year Student Journal Club (2 credit hours)
  • Independent Study (RPN 680) (4 credit hours)

Spring - 19 credit hours

  • Integrated Cancer Sciences III (4 credit hours)
  • Tools and Models of Molecular Oncology (BPR 577) (3 credit hours)
  • Graduate Seminar (1 credit hour)
  • Research and, if needed, Electives (11 credit hours)

Fall - 19 credit hours

  • Regulatory Mechanisms (BIR571) (4 credit hours)
  • Basics of Grantsmanship I (1 credit)
  • Graduate Seminar (1 credit hour)
  • Research and, if needed, Electives (13 credit hours)

Spring - 3 credit hours

  • Basics of Grantsmanship II (1 credit)
  • Graduate Seminar (1 credit hour)
  • Research (1 credit hour)

Fall - 2 credit hours

  • Research (1 credit hour)
  • Graduate Seminar (1 credit hour)

Spring – 2 credit hours

  • Research (1 credit hour)
  • Graduate Seminar (1 credit hour)

How to apply

The next program year for doctoral study at Roswell Park is Fall 2022, and applications are due by December 6, 2021.


Contact us

Stephanie Diflavio
Track Coordinator
Phone: 716-845-8233
Fax: 716-845-1698