We are excited to share that the UF Health Cancer Center recently launched two new education & training programs: the Team-based Interdisciplinary Cancer Research Training (TICaRT) Program and the Diversity Post-baccalaureate Research Education Program (DPREP).

Team-based Interdisciplinary Cancer Research Training (TICaRT) Program

We are excited to share that the UF Health Cancer Center was awarded a new training grant in the Spring, funded by the NCI (T32 CA257923), leading to the development of the  Team-based Interdisciplinary Cancer Research Training (TICaRT) Program, led by Dietmar Siemann, Ph.D., Andrew Judge, Ph.D., and Lizi Wu, Ph.D.

The objective of this T32 training program is to provide pre- and post-doctoral trainees from a broad range of disciplines the opportunity to develop interdisciplinary skills in cancer research and experience with transdisciplinary approaches. This program is based on the premise that advances in fundamental understanding of cancer and its clinical management rarely occur in isolation but typically represent team-based research endeavors. We believe that early exposure of trainees to interdisciplinary education and training coupled with team-based learning will better position them for successful cancer research careers.

Our first cohort of T32 trainees joined the program this Summer:

Eric Cooks, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Fellow,
Dept. of Advertising,
Faculty Mentor: Janice Krieger, Ph.D.
Andrew Maxim
Predoctoral Fellow,
Dept. of Computer Science,
Faculty Mentor: Benjamin Lok, Ph.D.

Tailoring virtual human voice and character customization as a part of a telehealth intervention to promote colorectal cancer screening among Black adults.

Peter Dib
Predoctoral Fellow,
Dept. of Anatomy & Cell Biology, Faculty Mentor: Maria Zajac-Kaye, Ph.D.
Derek Leas, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Fellow,
Dept. of Medicinal Chemistry,
Faculty Mentor: Robert Huigens, Ph.D.

Discovery and Development of Novel Cancer Therapies.

Nicholas Hiers
Predoctoral Fellow,
Dept. of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology,
Faculty Mentor: Mingyi Xie, Ph.D.
Daniel Stribling
Predoctoral Fellow,
Dept. of Molecular Genetics & Microbiology,
Faculty Mentor: Rolf Renne, Ph.D.

Identification of miRNA-Associated Therapeutic Targets in Colorectal Cancer through Cutting-Edge Biochemical and Bioinformatics Methods.

Rachel Newsome
Predoctoral Fellow,
Dept. of Medicine-Gastroenterology, Hepatology & Nutrition,
Faculty Mentor: Christian Jobin, Ph.D.
Bayli DiVita-Dean, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Fellow,
Dept. of Neurosurgery,
Faculty Mentor: Catherine Flores, Ph.D.

The role of the human gut microbiome in combinatorial cancer therapy response in pan-solid tumors.

UF Diversity Post-baccalaureate Research Education Program

The Cancer Center is seeking to address disparities in the oncology workforce through a training program for minority (URM) students that will help to increase the diversity of our graduate programs and enhance opportunities for these trainees to develop careers as scientists who will lead, conduct and support cancer research across the nation. 

Debra Lyon, Ph.D., RN, FNP-BC, FNAP, FAAN
Research Education Core Leader,
CaRE2 Health Equity Center
Dietmar W. Siemann, Ph.D.,
Associate Director, Education & Training, UF Health Cancer Center

We are currently piloting a Diversity Post-baccalaureate Research Education Program (DPREP) that accepted five post-baccalaureate trainees from five Florida minority-serving institutions. This 12-month training program provides opportunities for baccalaureate graduates to develop skills as young scientists and to explore their interest in cancer research. Under the leadership of Dietmar Siemann, Ph.D. and Debra Lyon, Ph.D., R.N., the program offers immersive experiences providing career and skills development and multidisciplinary mentored cancer research training for our postbaccalaureate trainees and supports the successful transition of these talented URM STEM-graduates into a doctoral training programs, specifically STEM-focused Ph.D. programs or combined professional and Ph.D. programs (M.D./Ph.D., Pharm.D., Ph.D./R.N.).

We are now seeking extramural funding to continue and expand this program to recruit URM post-baccalaureate students from a wide range of undergraduate STEM programs from a state-wide network of colleges and universities, in collaboration with minority-serving institutions throughout Florida, including Historical Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs) and rurally-located colleges.

Welcome to the UF Health Cancer Center!

N’Quel Bonner
Mentors: Carlos Rinaldi, Ph.D. & Duane Mitchell, M.D., Ph.D.
BS Chemistry Pre-Medicine,
Florida A&M University
Yodarlynis Campaneria
Mentor: David Tran, M.D., Ph.D.
BS Biological Sciences & Natural Applied Sciences, Florida International University
Taylor Ashley
Mentor: Janice Krieger, Ph.D.
BS Biology,
Bethune-Cookman University

Hilary Geffrard
Mentor: Elias Sayour, M.D., Ph.D.
BS Biology,
Florida Memorial University
Janai Poullard
Mentors: Debra Lyon, Ph.D. & Jonathan Licht, M.D.
BS Biology,
Edward Waters College