Rice, M. D. Anderson win funds for bench to bed training

Rice University, The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) today announced the creation of an innovative new Ph.D. training program that will offer Rice bioengineering students a chance to go on clinical rounds and take coursework at M. D. Anderson.

"Over the last 50 years, there have been tremendous advances in our understanding of the molecular and cellular processes of cancer, and great progress in the treatment of a number of neoplastic disorders; however, there has been no change in the age-adjusted mortality due to cancer," said Rebecca Richards-Kortum, the principal investigator on the project and the chair of Rice's Department of Bioengineering. "We need to revolutionize the way we translate our knowledge of cancer biology into new technologies for detecting and treating cancer, and with HHMI's help we'll be doing that."

Rice and M. D. Anderson's program involves a unique training program for bioengineering Ph.D. students that integrates courses in cancer biology, clinical medicine, bioengineering and translational research; unique internships in clinical cancer care and translational research; and jointly mentored inter-disciplinary Ph.D. projects. The program marries Rice's bioengineering Ph.D. program, ranked among the nation's 10 best, with the clinical and basic science strengths of M. D. Anderson, one of the nation's top-ranked cancer hospitals.

The new program, Translational Bioengineering for Cancer Diagnostics and Therapeutics, is funded by a four-year, $850,000 award from HHMI. Rice's program is one of 13 pioneering new translational medical research programs funded today by HHMI's Med to Grad initiative, supporting innovative graduate programs that introduce Ph.D. students to the world of clinical medicine.

Rice's program will build upon four joint areas of research that already exist between Rice and M. D. Anderson: computational bioengineering for design of

Contact: Jade Boyd
Rice University

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