This website describes our training program in the biochemistry of growth regulation and oncogenesis, as supported by an institutional Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award #T32 CA009523 from the National Institutes of Health/National Cancer Institute. This T32 training program arose originally in recognition of the growing convergence of interests among the training faculty and a desire to take full advantage of a scientific environment that was already highly interactive in many respects.
This T32 training program, funded under the single longest-running NCI training grant at UC San Diego through 2019, has supported the advanced training of more than 200 predoctoral and 100 postdoctoral scholars. Currently, funding for four predoctoral trainees and six postdoctoral trainees is administered through the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, which has operated a high-quality graduate program since the founding of UCSD in 1960. It is now in its 29th year of successful operation under the uninterrupted guidance of the same Program Director, Dr. Daniel Donoghue. This is a remarkable record of continuity in our program.
The training faculty members are expert in a variety of areas, including cell and molecular biology, signal transduction, structural biology, molecular virology, histopathology, endocrinology, and drug discovery. One unique aspect of this T32 program is its emphasis on understanding proteins involved in growth regulation and oncogenesis at the molecular and structural levels.
Our research programs emphasize common themes relating directly to mechanisms of cellular growth control, with four different focus groups providing an intellectual framework for the diverse research activities of our training faculty. These focus areas are:
We have also organized specific curricular requirements for our trainees depending upon the focus group of their mentor.
The training faculty are united in their desire to advance the understanding of basic cell biological events that cause cancer, and to identify drugs and strategies for the treatment of cancer.
The overall scientific environment at UCSD, enhanced by the dedication in 2005 of our new facility for The Moores UCSD Cancer Center, together with our association with The Salk Institute and with The Ludwig Institute, is truly outstanding. Moreover, the proximity of UCSD to other premier research institutes such as The Scripps Research Institute, and The Sanford-Burnham Institute (formerly known as The La Jolla Cancer Research Foundation) further enhances the scientific interactions possible in our local community. The training environment provided at UC San Diego is among the most intellectually exciting and vibrant in the country. Most importantly, this training program has helped to focus participating faculty and trainees alike on the problems of growth regulation and oncogenesis as a key issue of scientific study.