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Women researching
Women Researching

Cancer Research and Career Enhancement

Through decades of training cancer research fellows, we have established a reputation for excellence in medical education. Our Cancer Research and Career Enhancement program is expanding the reach of these efforts. We are engaging emerging cancer researchers earlier and making a lasting impact on their careers.

As scientific discovery gives way to potential new cancer care methods, demand is high for skilled researchers. Mays Cancer Center, home to UT Health San Antonio Cancer Center MD Anderson Cancer Center, addresses this need.

Exceptional medical education has always been at the foundation of who we are. The Cancer Research and Career Enhancement program leverages this expertise while also providing training opportunities. We reach out to help aspiring young scientists by explaining cancer research career opportunities. And we support junior faculty to achieve important early-career milestones.

Training opportunities for aspiring researchers

We help talented high school and college students learn more about and plan for careers in cancer research. We encourage individuals from underrepresented populations to participate.

Our efforts include:

  • Summer research program: We introduce the basic principles of cancer research. Participants learn from faculty in a variety of disciplines. Students develop new skills, including research poster presentations.
  • Career guidance: Our team counsels students as they prepare for college and beyond. We provide shadowing opportunities where students interact with our researchers to find out more about the career path.
  • Financial support: We offer travel assistance for national meetings and poster printing services for presentations.


Innovative training activities for graduate students and postdoctoral researchers

We provide experiences that help students and researchers excel in the next steps of their education. Our curriculum emphasizes basic and translational research. We also foster collaboration with UT Health San Antonio faculty and among academic departments.

These efforts include:

  • Interdepartmental learning: We encourage students enrolled in other UT San Antonio graduate programs to consider careers in cancer research. For instance, we have recruited computer science students to become biostatisticians. These specialists help researchers manage the increasingly complex data sets needed to lead cancer research.
  • Fund-seeking assistance: We help students pursue extramural funding to start or support research-related activities. Our team discusses a broad range of potential funding sources. Opportunities may include Department of Defense grants and industry-sponsored initiatives.
  • Networking events: We are building a sense of community among students, some of whom have no academic department affiliation. Our team coordinates centralized meetings and symposiums. These events enable students and UT Health San Antonio faculty to exchange knowledge while building professional connections.


Research faculty development

We help research fellows (postdoctoral scholars) and assistant professors become independent, nationally funded investigators.

Our offerings include:

  • Specialized training: We help health care professionals gain proficiency in clinical and translational research with a flexible degree program. Learn more about our Master of Science in Clinical Investigation and Translational Science.
  • Summer training program: This program is available to select research fellows. Participants learn from established cancer researchers representing multiple clinical specialties.
  • Mentoring opportunities: Experts from our nationally renowned basic science and cancer programs serve as mentors to fledgling researchers. Mentors help participants expand their knowledge and prepare for the next steps in their careers.
  • Grant-seeking support: Junior faculty can access resources to increase their chances of winning a national research grant. We offer support that may include preliminary data and proposal writing assistance. This support is one of the many ways we help junior faculty continue advancing toward the tenure track.

More information about our education and career enhancement activities

Our Cancer Research and Career Enhancement program is part of our mission to provide innovative models for clinical education. This work is made possible in part through funding from the:

  • National Cancer Institute (NCI): We are the only NCI-designated cancer center in Central and South Texas. Our commitment to cancer research excellence includes outreach, education and professional development opportunities. Find out more about NCI designation.
  • Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT): UT Health San Antonio has been working with CPRIT for years to advance cancer research training in Texas. CPRIT is one of the state’s lead agencies for cancer research and prevention programs. Find out more about CPRIT.

Additional learning opportunities are available through our education and training programs.