The Department of Translational Molecular Pathology (TMP) offers a summer research training program for undergraduates through its Interdisciplinary Translational Education and Research Training (ITERT) core to outstanding students interested in exploring research careers in translational molecular pathology. Our goal is to train motivated students towards advanced careers in biomedical research & provide a supportive learning environment for them as they participate, in real-time cutting-edge research within a cross-section of the academic pipeline continuum at ITERT. Our efforts in this context are geared to foster an interest in the scientific method and assist students in identifying career choices within STEM fields through defined skills programming, awareness workshops and individualized career support during- and post-program through our extended ITERT Mentoring Network. ITERT STEP is an equal opportunity training platform committed to serving a diverse group of students. Our education and training program includes two research tracks 1): General Translational Oncology Research Track and 2): Pancreatic Cancer Research Track. Our commitment to increasing diversity stems from the ITERT core belief that diversity enhances creativity and progress of everyone involved. ITERT STEP is supported by NCI funding.
The mission of TMP is focused on three goals:
- Discovery of novel molecular targets for chemoprevention and treatment
- Development and validation of biomarkers for diagnosis and prediction of response/resistance to treatment
- Transition of assays developed in the department into the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) environment
TMP aims to achieve this mission through thematic translational research and preclinical molecular pathology research in different cancer types such as brain, pancreatic, breast, melanoma, colon, prostate and lung. TMP also houses expertise in data science and AI in pathology research with research training opportunities within these fields.
The program includes the following activities:
- Research Skills Development: Hands-on research experience in translational oncology mentored by world-class faculty members in a laboratory setting which will culminate in a formal research presentation to faculty and peers during program graduation.
- Career Programming
a) Interactive Professional Development Workshop Series: exposure to critical appraisal skills, and professional career skills training including fundamental principles governing planning, experimentation and reporting in science, IDP and CV building, communication skills and networking how-to’s.
b) Auditing a graduate level University of Texas course - Clinical Perspectives for a Basic Scientist focused on themes fundamental to the clinical history of cancer development and progression, beginning with early detection and surveillance and ending with late-stage disease, metastasis and survivorship.
c) National symposium focused on career paths in biomedical sciences, and transferrable skills for academic and non-academic career track
- Peer Support Groups: Engagement within a supportive learning community in a formal support group led by ITERT Program Directors and Senior Research Scientists at TMP.
- Trainee Networking and Social Events.
Eligibility & Requirements
- Students aged 18 years or older by program start date who have received a high school diploma and who have completed at least their freshman year of college and are in good academic standing are eligible to apply.
- Applicants must currently be enrolled in an undergraduate program in the United States and be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident, or international student on F1 or J1 visa to apply.
Dates & Work Schedule
- ITERT STEP 2024 summer term will take place from June 3 through August 9, 2024.
- MD Anderson's normal hours of operation are Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Exact work schedules are subject to the laboratories' needs and expectations.
Students who have an interest in working with a TMP faculty member or in a specific research or project area are encouraged to include this information in the application. While we attempt to match students with mentors in accordance with declared interests, this is based on faculty availability and may not be feasible in all circumstances.
For the ITERT STEP summer term the institutionally recommended stipend of $6800 will be paid over a period of 10 weeks for the selected candidates (via NCI funds and TMP Educational Funds to ITERT).
You may apply starting November 27, 2023 through SLATE. Applications will be accepted through January 17, 2024 at 11:59 p.m. CST.
The following information will be required on the application:
- Personal information, including contact information and mailing address
- Official Transcripts from undergraduate universities
- Statement of Research Experience and Area(s) of Interest
- Two letters of reference with contact information (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 two years.)
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, check with us to find out the answers to your questions.
Contact Ebonie Hatfield - ERHatfield@mdanderson.org.
Program application accessible here: https://trainees.mdanderson.org/register/?id=1be25228-9551-4198-bab6-c9df98721d0f&sys:app:position_ID_id=17194CD2-8F87-040A-6D6F-27EDA9E87449&sys:app:app_psdept=6a5fbe6d-9c94-4ff0-a261-d389294d856c&sys:app:app_faculty=keleonard&sys:app:app_title=CATALYST%20Trainee&sys:app:app_requisition_num=140200-202310101123&sys:app:app_apply_form=d0ba34e1-cd5e-4803-98a7-8f2154fe424a&sys:app:app_other_faculty1=&sys:app:app_pos_progname=4e4bbd11-a262-40fe-85e1-c69ced0192ae&sys:app:app_is_program=1
Rama Soundararajan, Ph.D.
Khalida Wani, Ph.D.
Vashisht Yennu Nanda, Ph.D.