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Women researching
Women Researching

Cancer Research Training and Career Enhancement Core

For decades, we have provided research opportunities for students from high school through doctoral programs. In addition, we have established a reputation for excellence in medical training.

Our Cancer Research Training and Career Enhancement core is key to maintaining and expanding 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 MD Anderson Cancer Center, addresses this need.

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

Training opportunities for aspiring researchers

We provide talented high school and college students with cancer research experience, which is ideal for those interested in a future career serving cancer patients. We encourage individuals from underrepresented populations to participate in our programs. 

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, primarily at the bench, and they also receive an opportunity to present their research findings to their peers and other faculty.
  • 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.

For more information, contact the Education Office at

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 UT Health San Antonio graduate programs to consider careers in cancer research. Furthermore, we recruit from other institutions in San Antonio. 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 for funding are available through National Institute of Health, Department of Defense and American Cancer Society grants as well as industry-sponsored initiatives.
  • Networking events: We are building a sense of community among trainees, 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.
  • Financial support: We offer travel assistance for national meetings and poster printing services for presentations. In addition, the summer research programs have financial support.

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. This program, for individuals who have already earned their MD or PhD, provides specific training in human subjects research.
  • Mentoring opportunities: Experts from our nationally renowned basic science and cancer programs serve as mentors to developing researchers. Mentors help junior faculty and fellows expand their knowledge and prepare for the next steps in their careers. 
  • Grant-seeking support: Junior faculty can access resources to assist in the preparation of national research grants. We also provide support for generating critical preliminary data. This support is one of the many ways we help junior faculty continue advancing their careers.

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.
  • Other organizations: We are grateful for funding provided by many other organizations, including:
    • Industry groups, such as pharmaceutical companies
    • The federal government, including the National Institutes of Health (NIH)
    • Nonprofit organizations
    • Nongovernmental organizations (NGOs)
    • Private foundations

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