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Oncology Research Internship

The Institute of Drug Development Oncology Research Internship (ORI) will provide selected candidates with an up-close and personal view of the drug development process. Initially, interns will work closely with staff in each of our research departments. This will provide basic information of what takes place in each department; after learning about each of our research areas and their role in drug development, the intern will be assigned a mentor in an area they will like to learn more about. 

Who can apply?

  1. High school students: Class of 2019 or 2020 (must be beginning their junior/senior year in August 2018)
  2. First-year college students who would like to obtain basic knowledge about cancer, cancer treatment, and the research process are welcome to apply.

What are the dates for the internship?

Oncology Research Internship will begin on June 17 and will end on July 12 (four weeks in length). An average day during the ORI will be 5 to 8 hours in length.

Program requirements

  • Parental/guardian permission
  • Good academic standing and satisfactory conduct/grades
  • Proof of medical insurance
  • A video submission or written essay explaining why the applicant would like to be an Oncology Research Intern participant
  • Letter of recommendation from a teacher
  • Students are responsible for transportation to and from UT Health San Antonio MD Anderson Cancer Center
  • Out of town participants are responsible for housing

For security and safety reasons, the university requires visiting individuals to establish legitimacy on campus and receive all necessary training and testing to assure their own and the university’s patients’ safety. Confidentiality/security acknowledgment required. 

Application Process

  • The application form will be provided for completion. There is a step I, II and III process where applicable.
  • Program Cost: $85.00
  • A background check form will need to be completed.

For more information contact

Becky Sauceda
ORI Coordinator
UT Health San Antonio MD Anderson Cancer Center
210-450-1133 |

Institute for Drug Development

Seeking cures and patients for Phase I, II, III clinical trials

The UT Health San Antonio MD Anderson Cancer Center’s Institute for Drug Development (IDD®) provides hope to patients and their families through new treatments for cancer, including targeted, viral-based and immune therapies, as well as combinations of agents with diverse ways of attacking cancer cells. The IDD was founded in 1991 and is one of the finest early-stage clinical trials organizations in the world. Through the IDD we accelerate new anticancer agents from discovery through early phase clinical studies and then the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) approval. As one of the most comprehensive drug development programs of its kind, the IDD at UT Health San Antonio MD Anderson tested many of the most commonly used FDA-approved anticancer drugs. Each year, more than 1500 patients from around the world come to UT Health San Antonio MD Anderson Cancer Center to participate in clinical trials and receive treatment with new drugs. At any given time, the cancer center has more than 180 clinical trials open for patient enrollment.

IDD Research and Education cover a full spectrum of activities including:

  • Clinical Research testing the effects of new treatments. At any given time, the IDD is testing as many as 50 new drugs and drug combinations. In Phase I studies, we test drugs in humans for the first time looking at safety and efficacy. In Phase II and III studies, we study promising agents and new combinations in specific patient populations to see whether they merit FDA approval.
  • Translational Research a two-way, continuous exchange of information between laboratory scientists and clinicians to improve our understanding of new agents as they are tested. The IDD allows for discoveries in our Cancer Center research laboratories to move into the clinic more quickly.
  • Education is a major mission of the IDD. We train the next generation of clinical investigators in the art of cancer drug development. The IDD Drug Development Fellowship offers oncologists the opportunity to learn all aspects of clinical research related to Phase I studies. Former IDD fellows now lead drug development programs worldwide, broadening our impact.

The IDD is funded by grants from the NCI and the Department of Defense, other public agencies and private foundations, industry contracts, clinical practice, philanthropy, and investments.

Participating departments

Clinical Trials Office

The administrative aspect of clinical trial conduct begins in the Clinical Trials Office. The CTO staff negotiates study budgets, contracts, and grants.

Regulator Affairs

There are many rules and regulations that research centers are bound to since human research protection (safety) is of utmost importance. Regulatory Affairs maintains official study documents/files.

Research Infusion Room

The staff in the Research Infusion Room is responsible for the administration of experimental treatments to cancer patients who have exhausted conventional means of treatment. The nurses who work here are specially trained to care for cancer patients with advanced disease.

Department of Clinical Investigations

This department is responsible for screening potential candidates for assigned studies, monitoring active patients, reporting side effects to sponsors and educating staff.

Pharmacokinetic Sampling Department

How long does an experimental drug stay in the body? When does it peak? Does taking experimental drugs with or without food have an effect on its concentration in the blood? How is the drug excreted from the body? Answers to these questions and many others are obtained through the evaluation of the work performed in the Pharmacokinetic Sampling Department.

Program Coordinators

Susan Padalecki, Ph.D.
Associate Director, Research Administration
210-450-1794 |

S. Lisa Creighton, B.S., CCRP
Regulatory Affairs Manager
210-450-1366 |