Postdoctoral training in the Department of Epigenetics and Molecular Carcinogenesis emphasizes the goal of preparing trainees to carry out independent cancer-related research in a particular area of expertise, while maintaining a broad overview of related areas. Currently, there are approximately 30 postdoctoral fellows in the department. Many of our former postdocs have gone on to faculty positions at prestigious universities and institutes such as Harvard, Stanford and the National Institutes of Health. Others have gone on to successful careers in biotech and government regulatory agencies.
About the Program
Traditional laboratory-based training can be supplemented by auditing graduate-level courses, participating in journal clubs, and presenting research and critiquing the research of others during the weekly departmental Work-In-Progress seminar. Trainees will keep abreast of trending research and the newest scientific technologies and methods by regularly attending other seminars, both those held on campus and others videoconferenced from Houston. All postdocs will also receive formal training in the responsible conduct of research.
Postdoctoral epigenetics training is strongly enhanced by a fellow's active participation in the Center for Cancer Epigenetics, which holds regular meetings consisting of seminars conducted by group members, hosts prominent outside speakers in the field of epigenetics and chromatin, and sponsors an annual retreat focused strongly on trainee research. Postdocs are also encouraged, in most years, to participate in the Genetics and Epigenetics graduate program's annual retreat.
Fellows are expected to present their findings at regional, national and international meetings, further enhancing their training experience. In addition, both the institute-wide MD Anderson Postdoctoral Association (PDA) and the PDA branch at Science Park offer supplementary training and networking opportunities.
Professional and Career Development
Career development is an essential component of the training experience for the department’s postdoctoral fellows. The MD Anderson Postdoctoral Association provides a series of lectures including topics such as personal development, professional development, and oral and written communication.
A joint program for MD Anderson Postdoctoral Fellows and GSBS Students, Fast Track Orientation, will introduce you to various institutional resources and personnel that combined will help you successfully navigate your time as a postdoc. Some of these resources are the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs, which can help you formulate an Individual Development Plan (IDP), the Office of Sponsored Programs that will help you identify funding sources, and finally Faculty and Academic Development which can provide one-on-one meetings to help you assess your career goals, progress, and plan.
In addition, departmental faculty strive to assist their postdoctoral fellows in obtaining permanent positions in the field of their choice. Mentors work closely with trainees on their writing skills, especially during manuscript and grant preparation, and teach them how to communicate with editors, revise manuscripts and respond to reviews. Moreover, postdoctoral fellows will present their work at local, national, and international meetings, thus providing valuable networking opportunities.
Postdocs are also afforded the opportunity to directly mentor summer student interns as well as gain valuable didactic teaching experiences by presenting formal lectures during our Science Park Summer Program in Cancer Research.
The Virginia Harris Cockrell Cancer Research Center at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Science Park, Department of Epigenetics and Molecular Carcinogenesis, Unit 116
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 389, Smithville, Texas 78957
Physical Address: 1808 Park Road 1C, Smithville, Texas 78957
Please contact the Principal Investigator of the laboratory you wish to join. A list of our departmental faculty members, along with links to their research are listed here. Please note that Drs. Barton, Santos and Shi are located in Houston.
Science Park is located adjacent to Buescher State Park near Smithville, Texas. We are about 45 minutes east of Austin and two hours west of Houston, located just north of Texas Highway 71.
From Austin or Austin-Bergstrom International Airport:
Take Texas Highway 71 East towards Bastrop. Go through Bastrop toward Smithville. As you approach Smithville, you will pass La Cabaña Restaurant and a Chevron gas station on the right. Immediately past the Chevron station, you will turn left across Highway 71 West and onto KLBJ Road.
Take U.S. Interstate 10 West to Columbus, Texas and exit onto Texas Highway 71 West towards Austin. Pass La Grange and continue traveling west towards Smithville. Near Smithville, you will pass Spiradrill on the right and Smithville Hospital on the left. Look for a small sign marking KLBJ Road. There is only a very short exit ramp marked on the shoulder of the highway. If you pass a Chevron gas station and La Cabaña Restaurant on your left, you have gone too far.
Once on KLBJ Road:
Take the first left onto Ann Powell Road. At the end of Ann Powell Road, you will see a stop sign and a sign directing you toward Science Park, where you will turn left onto the winding Park Road 1-C (there is no sign marking Park Road 1-C). Science Park will be on your right with a large wooden sign marking the entrance. Upon arrival at the gate, use the intercom to ask the guard for additional directions.