The field of molecular epidemiology is emerging as an important tool in the arsenal on the war on cancer. Molecular epidemiology has been defined as "a science that focuses on the contribution of potential genetic and environmental risk factors, identified at the molecular and biochemical level, to the etiology, distribution, and prevention of disease within families and across populations."
In cancer, applications include the spectrum from targeted screening and risk assessment, to the development and testing of novel prediction and prognostic biomarkers of cancer outcomes. This new field has emerged from the integration of human genetics, advanced biotechnology and epidemiology, and requires a cadre of highly trained researchers with specialized knowledge and the ability to work in interdisciplinary teams comprised of clinicians, mathematicians, engineers, and basic and population scientists. Currently, there remains a shortage of scientists in this rapidly advancing area.
To help fill this gap, we have developed an education and career development postdoctoral training program with funding support from the National Institutes of Health that is focused on new and emerging methods in molecular and genetic epidemiology. Fellows participate in multidisciplinary training that includes a core curriculum highlighting the latest advances in these fields, combined with clinical oncology and cancer biology plus special workshops in applied methodologies. Each trainee also has an opportunity to engage in molecular, basic and clinical research under the guidance of experienced mentors and develop and refine their research interests and skills in these areas.
About the Program
Current MGE Postdoctoral Fellows