ANNOUNCEMENT: May 19, 2021 - The CPRIT Oversight committee announced today that our research training grant, “The Future of Cancer Research: Training Program for Basic and Translational Scientists” has been renewed for an additional 5 years. We are also very proud to report that our grant was the top ranked grant (with an impact score of 1.4) of the 8 training grants that were funded by the oversight committee.
Since first awarded in 2010, we are grateful to have received three renewals from CPRIT, which have enabled us to train 447 undergraduates, 52 Ph.D. graduate students and 36 postdoctoral trainees. We are excited to receive this renewal grant and the opportunity to continue our impactful training program at MD Anderson. We also sincerely appreciate the institutional support and our many dedicated faculty mentors, which have contributed significantly to our program’s success.
Students on all tracks of our training program have excelled in their STEM education and careers. For instance, seven students who participated in the 2020 CPRIT CURE summer undergraduate program were awarded the prestigious Goldwater Scholarship. One of our graduate scholars received a Fulbright Fellowship in 2019, and several have high tier first author publications in journals such as Cell and Nature Communications. Our post-doctoral trainees also continue to amass first-author publications in top journals such as Cancer Discovery and Cancer Cell and secure independent research support including NIH K00, F32 and R01 Diversity Supplement awards. Moreover, our program outcomes importantly indicate similar successes for minority and non-minority students, suggesting our program helps to remove barriers to advancement in the cancer research field. As part of our renewal, we will continue to grow our program, recruiting top talent to train and conduct research alongside our esteemed faculty mentors.
This summer, 80 undergraduate students from across the country will arrive in Houston to take part in the 10th annual CPRIT CURE summer research program. We have no doubt these students will infuse the institution with their energy and deep interest in cancer research, and will be part of advancing our critical work to the next generation. We are thankful to all of the faculty mentors who have graciously agreed to accept students into their labs to take part in a hands-on research experience this summer. Through the NIH R25 grant that our team was also awarded this past year, we were able to expand our summer cohort and provide additional research training opportunities to underrepresented minorities in science. We have also established a collaboration with Dr. Hannah Wingate, NSF awardee, to provide training opportunities to undergraduate students at Houston Baptist University.
In closing, we would like to thank Dr. Pisters and Dr. Draetta for their continued support and investment in our CPRIT research training program, as well as its new initiatives, and Dr. Bodurka for her support of our summer undergraduate program. We are especially grateful to our mentoring faculty who have devoted much time and effort into providing outstanding training and guidance to our trainees over the last 10 years, and their commitment to our ongoing and future efforts to train the next generation of cancer researchers. We are thankful for the opportunity to continue to make a lasting impact on the professional and academic careers of research trainees with the help of CPRIT, NIH and the institution.
Khandan, Stephanie, Kara and Brittney
2021 Summer Program Dates
Start: June 7, 2021
End: August 13, 2021
The CPRIT CURE Undergraduate Research Program – designed for outstanding young scientists interested in a career in cancer research
Important: Our program continues despite the COVID-19 pandemic!
The CPRIT CURE program at MD Anderson is our flagship research program for summer undergraduate students
- Involves our most accomplished research faculty at MD Anderson
- Recruits outstanding students from top-tier institutions
- Provides multidisciplinary research and career development training
- Trains the largest cohort of undergraduates annually at MD Anderson
Our alumni have been resoundingly successful and comprise a rich network for future students
- A total of 447 undergraduates undergraduates have participated in the CPRIT CURE program in the past 10 years, providing a substantial, multidisciplinary alumni network
- Of those who completed their undergraduate degrees, 99% have advanced to post-graduate doctoral programs or other biomedical research positions
- Our students have authored 81 publications from work performed at MD Anderson, as well as 470 additional publications from subsequent research experiences
- Our students have earned numerous prestigious awards, including 1st place in the 2015 and 2019 American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Undergraduate Student Caucus and Poster Competition, three Thomas J. Bardos Awards (AACR), three Fulbright Post-bac Research Awards, and eight Barry M. Goldwater Scholarships
- Our students have presented their research at national scientific meetings, including the annual meetings of the AACR, American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), and American Society of Hematology (ASH)
Join our program for outstanding undergraduate students interested in cancer research.
The Cancer Prevention & Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT)-CURE Summer Undergraduate Program is a 10-week research program designed for outstanding undergraduate students who are interested in pursuing research-based (M.S., Ph.D., or M.D./Ph.D.) careers in cancer research.
Who should apply?
College or university students who have completed their freshman, sophomore or junior year by June 2022 and are in good academic standing are eligible to apply. International students may apply if they hold a current visa through the duration of the program. Undergraduates of all majors are invited to apply! A few faculty are specifically recruiting for undergraduates with backgrounds in physics, mathematics, and computer science backgrounds - applicants with these backgrounds are highly encouraged to apply will be matched in related research areas.
When is the program?
The 2021 summer program is Monday, June 7 through Friday, August 13. Please check back for the 2022 program dates.
What will my days look like?
The CPRIT-CURE program offers an immersive laboratory research experience in cancer research with MD Anderson faculty mentors. On-site participants will receive hands-on research training in state-of-the-art labs, where they will interact daily with faculty, postdoctoral fellows and graduate students. Students will attend scientific lectures, seminars and career development events, and they will have the opportunity to present their work at a poster session at the conclusion of the program. Students cannot earn credit from their home institutions for participating in the CPRIT-CURE program.
On site participants receive a stipend of up to $6,000 for the 10-week program. This stipend amount includes allowances for housing, living, and travel expenses - no additional allowances are available. Paychecks and stipend are based on actual days worked and will be issued on the 5th and the 20th of each month, deducting the required federal tax.
CPRIT-CURE Faculty Mentors
CPRIT scholar faculty mentors serve as direct supervisors for CPRIT scholars. They participate in all aspects of the CPRIT-CURE training program, including formal instruction and supervision of research. Our more than 100 program-affiliated faculty belong to more than two dozen different departments at MD Anderson and are engaged in many different areas of cancer research! If you are interested in a specific area of cancer research, please note this in your personal statement.
Applications for the the 2021 program are no longer being accepted. Applications for the 2022 CPRIT CURE Program will open in November 2021 and will close early January 2021. Applicants will be notified with admissions decisions in mid-February via the email address submitted with their application.
The following information is required on the application:
- Personal and demographic information
- Unofficial transcripts from undergraduate universities
- Personal Statement
- Two letters of recommendation uploaded by your recommender (At least one reference should come from a science or math professor. The other may be from an advisor, counselor or health care advisor/mentor with whom you worked in a prior program during the past four years. Once recommenders are added to your Discover account, an emailed link will be sent through which recommenders may upload their letters of recommendation.)
Applications must be completed and submitted before the above deadline. Incomplete applications will be purged after the deadline has passed. If the information found here did not provide the answers you need, please feel free to email the Program Administrators, Dr. Kara Lewis (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Brittney Edwards (email@example.com).
CPRIT-CURE Summer Undergraduate Program Contacts
Still have questions?
For all questions related to the CPRIT CURE Program, please contact Dr. Kara Lewis (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Brittney Edwards (email@example.com). You may also reach out to Dr. Stephanie Watowich or Dr. Khandan Keyomarsi, Directors for the CPRIT Research Training Grant and Programs for any scientific related questions.
Stephanie Watowich, Ph.D.
Khandan Keyomarsi, Ph.D.