Experimental Therapeutics Ph.D. Track

The Experimental Therapeutics Track offers graduate students the opportunity to conduct basic and translational research in the areas of cancer biology, drug development, and innovative cancer treatment design.

Individuals with a background in chemistry, biochemistry, cell biology, molecular biology, pharmacology, and/or bioinformatics are encouraged to apply. Some prior research experience is desirable but not required.

A demographically 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 from the track include:

  • 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 activities for students include:

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.

Current Topics in Cancer Pharmacology

Trainees develop critical thinking skills by participating in a class in which contemporary papers in cancer pharmacology are discussed and critiqued.

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).

Application Deadline

The next opportunity to apply for doctoral study at the Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center will be for Fall 2021, and the application deadline will be January 6, 2021.

Students who wish to apply after the January 6 deadline must contact education@roswellpark.org before submitting an application.