Overview

The Sheila and David Fuente Graduate Program in Cancer Biology is a university-wide interdisciplinary training program that draws upon clinical and basic sciences from multiple departments and medical school divisions of the University of Miami.

The scientific focus is broadly cancer research with an emphasis on fundamental cellular processes, their deregulation in cancer, the identification of novel diagnostics and therapeutic targets. In addition to training in technical aspects, the curriculum places a strong emphasis on scientific reasoning as the most important and portable aspect of PhD training.

The cross-disciplinary training includes novel concepts and state-of-the-art techniques of molecular biology, biochemistry, genetics, genomics, proteomics, structural biology, cell biology, pharmacology, and molecular medicine. This training is integrated into the extensive clinical and translational research programs of the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center (SCCC).

Research in Cancer Biology stands out by the scale and rate at which basic science translates into tangible changes in the treatment of patients. At the same time, information flows back rapidly from the clinic to direct the next frontier in basic science and innovation.

To make maximum use of this exciting research environment, scientists need training in the relevant clinical concepts to translate questions and research needs back into their own setting and engages in collaborative efforts. To facilitate this training, cancer biology graduate students receive guidance from both a research mentor and a physician mentor. The research mentor is the dissertation advisor, while the physician mentor provides a clinical perspective in cancer biology including issues of diagnosis, management, and treatment of cancer patients and clinical research

The Sheila and David Fuente Graduate Program in Cancer Biology is a university-wide interdisciplinary training program that draws upon clinical and basic sciences from multiple departments and medical school divisions of the University of Miami.

The scientific focus is broadly cancer research with an emphasis on fundamental cellular processes, their deregulation in cancer, the identification of novel diagnostics and therapeutic targets. In addition to training in technical aspects, the curriculum places a strong emphasis on scientific reasoning as the most important and portable aspect of PhD training.

The cross-disciplinary training includes novel concepts and state-of-the-art techniques of molecular biology, biochemistry, genetics, genomics, proteomics, structural biology, cell biology, pharmacology, and molecular medicine. This training is integrated into the extensive clinical and translational research programs of the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center (SCCC).

Research in Cancer Biology stands out by the scale and rate at which basic science translates into tangible changes in the treatment of patients. At the same time, information flows back rapidly from the clinic to direct the next frontier in basic science and innovation.

To make maximum use of this exciting research environment, scientists need training in the relevant clinical concepts to translate questions and research needs back into their own setting and engages in collaborative efforts. To facilitate this training, cancer biology graduate students receive guidance from both a research mentor and a physician mentor. The research mentor is the dissertation advisor, while the physician mentor provides a clinical perspective in cancer biology including issues of diagnosis, management, and treatment of cancer patients and clinical research

Admission Requirements

Applicants to biomedical programs should have a bachelor degree in a biological or related discipline (e.g., psychology, chemistry, engineering, physics). Although there are no prerequisite requirements, courses in general biology, cell/molecular biology, calculus, general physics, organic chemistry, physical chemistry, and biochemistry are encouraged. Applications are generally accepted from September to December for fall entry only. Select applicants will be offered an interview.

COMPETITIVE CANDIDATES WILL HAVE THE FOLLOWING:

  • Excellent academic record
  • Competitive GRE exam scores (top 50th percentile) can be submitted through BiomedCAS as additional information.
  • Research experience in a laboratory setting
  • Publications of abstract and / or papers
  • Co-authorship in a peer-reviewed journal is recommended
  • Strong letters of recommendation from research scientists who know the candidate well
  • Motivation to pursue state-of-the-art biomedical research
     

APPLICANTS MUST SUBMIT THE FOLLOWING:

  • Online Application
  • Application Fee
  • Official Academic Transcripts
  • English Proficiency Exam (non-native speakers)
  • Statement of Purpose
  • Resume / CV

Full application instructions can be found online

Curriculum Requirements

Journal Club2
Journal Club 1
Biomedical Sciences
PIB 701Introduction to Biomedical Sciences5
PIB 702Scientific Reasoning3
PIB 705Biostatistics for the Biosciences3
PIB 706Informatics for the Biosciences2-4
PIB 731Laboratory Research3-5
PIB 780Research Ethics1
PIB 782Professional Development: Skills for Success I1
PIB 783Professional Development: Skills for Success II1
PIB 830Doctoral Dissertation1
Core Courses
Student Seminar4
CAB Student Seminar 2
Clinical Research3
Translational to Clinical Research 3
CAB 710Cancer Biochemistry and Molecular Biology3
CAB 713 is a required courses CAB 712, CAB 714, CAB 715 & CAB 716 can be done as electives:2
Special Topics in Cancer Research - Viral Oncology and Tumor Immunology Module
Special Topics in Cancer Research - Molecular Cancer Therapeutics Module
Intergrated Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention and Biobehavioral Oncology
Special Topics in Cancer Research - Breast and Genitourinary Cancers Module
Special Topics in Cancer Research: Design and Management of Cancer Clinical Trials
CAB 720Dialogues with Cancer Clinitians (PIBS Module)1
CAB 750Logic and Reasoning in Translational Cancer Research: Bench to Bedside Part 13
Dissertation (Includes 1 credit from PIB 830)
Choose 23 credits from the following:23
Dissertation Research - Pre Candidacy
Doctoral Dissertation- Post Candidacy
Research in Residence
Total Credit Hours61-65

Suggested Plan of Study

Plan of Study Grid
Year One
FallCredit Hours
PIB 701 Introduction to Biomedical Sciences 1-5
PIB 702 Scientific Reasoning 3
PIB 731 Laboratory Research 2
PIB 700 Journal Club 1
PIB 780 Research Ethics 1
PIB 782 Professional Development: Skills for Success I 1
 Credit Hours9-13
Spring
PIB 700 Journal Club 1
PIB 705 Biostatistics for the Biosciences 3
PIB 731 Laboratory Research 1
PIB 783 Professional Development: Skills for Success II 1
CAB 710 Cancer Biochemistry and Molecular Biology 3
 Credit Hours9
Summer
PIB 830 Doctoral Dissertation 1
 Credit Hours1
Year Two
Fall
CAB 701 CAB Student Seminar 1
CAB 705 Translational to Clinical Research 0
CAB 830 Dissertation Research - Pre Candidacy 2
CAB 716 Special Topics in Cancer Research: Design and Management of Cancer Clinical Trials 1
 Credit Hours4
Spring
PIB 706 Informatics for the Biosciences (Students take either PIB 706 or an elective that meets the Bioinformatics requirement) 2-4
CAB 701 CAB Student Seminar 1
CAB 705 Translational to Clinical Research 1
CAB 713 is a required course. CAB 712, CAB 714, CAB 715 & CAB 716 can be done as electives: 2
Special Topics in Cancer Research - Viral Oncology and Tumor Immunology Module (Offerred Alternate Years Spring 2019, 2021, 2023)  
Special Topics in Cancer Research - Molecular Cancer Therapeutics Module (Offerred Alternate Years Spring 2021, 2023, 2025)  
Intergrated Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention and Biobehavioral Oncology  
Special Topics in Cancer Research - Breast and Genitourinary Cancers Module (Offerred Alternate Years Spring 2022, 2024, 2026)  
CAB 830 Dissertation Research - Pre Candidacy 2
 Credit Hours8-10
Summer
CAB 840 Doctoral Dissertation- Post Candidacy 2
 Credit Hours2
Year Three
Fall
CAB 701 CAB Student Seminar 1
CAB 705 Translational to Clinical Research 0
Special Topics in Cancer Research: Design and Management of Cancer Clinical Trials (CAB 716 is an elective course)  
CAB 750 Logic and Reasoning in Translational Cancer Research: Bench to Bedside Part 1 ((Offered Alternate Years Fall 2019, 2021, 2023)) 3
CAB 840 Doctoral Dissertation- Post Candidacy 2
 Credit Hours6
Spring
CAB 701 CAB Student Seminar 1
CAB 705 Translational to Clinical Research 1
CAB 720 Dialogues with Cancer Clinitians (PIBS Module) (Offerred Alternate Years Spring 2022, 2024, 2026) 1
CAB 840 Doctoral Dissertation- Post Candidacy 2
 Credit Hours5
Summer
CAB 840 Doctoral Dissertation- Post Candidacy 2
 Credit Hours2
Year Four
Fall
CAB 705 Translational to Clinical Research 0
CAB 840 Doctoral Dissertation- Post Candidacy 2
 Credit Hours2
Spring
CAB 705 Translational to Clinical Research 1
CAB 840 Doctoral Dissertation- Post Candidacy 2
 Credit Hours3
Summer
CAB 840 Doctoral Dissertation- Post Candidacy 2
 Credit Hours2
Year Five
Fall
CAB 840 Doctoral Dissertation- Post Candidacy 2
 Credit Hours2
Spring
CAB 840 Doctoral Dissertation- Post Candidacy 2
 Credit Hours2
Summer
CAB 850 Research in Residence 1
 Credit Hours1
 Total Credit Hours58-64

Students are encouraged to take pertinent elective courses under guidance of their Dissertation Committee and research mentor.  Electives must be approved by CAB graduate program director.

  • Required course credits:  36 cr. [700 level courses (required or elective)]
  • Dissertation research: 24 cr.

Mission

The Graduate Program in Cancer Biology offers graduate training leading to a Ph.D. in Cancer Biology. It is the mission of the program to provide our students with 1) an understanding of the central concepts in cancer biology and basic biomedical science coupled with an understanding of clinical aspects of cancer including prevention, diagnosis, prognosis and therapeutic interventions and 2) the ability to formulate, conduct, analyze and communicate original research within the broad field of cancer biology including fundamental cellular processes and their derangement in cancer etiology / progression; identification and mechanisms of novel cancer therapeutics and preventative agents; and identification of novel therapeutic targets, diagnostic and prognostic markers.

Student Learning Outcomes

  • At the end of the program, students will demonstrate an overall knowledge and understanding of the core concepts in cancer biology, including the essential skills to conduct cancer biology research.
  • Upon completion of the program, all students will demonstrate critical thinking skills, the capacity to develop hypotheses, the ability to evaluate their hypotheses through appropriate experimental design and analysis paying attention to responsible conduct of research as appropriate.
  • Students will demonstrate the ability to write effective scientific reports and to present scientific results orally.